CricketNext takes a look at some of the key battles on the cards as the two teams gear up for the battle royale:
Jake Ball vs Rohit Sharma
Known to play well on the bounce, Sharma has failed to crack the Ball puzzle in this series. The fast bowler has tied down the opener using the angles to perfection. Ball has also used the bounce on offer to great effect to get the ball to climb on the swashbuckling opener and as a result, it has been difficult for Sharma to score swiftly in the powerplay. It will again be an interesting battle when the two cross path in the series finale.
Virat Kohli vs Chris Jordan
The India skipper will have to take the initiative when it comes to tackling England’s T20I specialist. Known to tie batsmen down with an immaculate length and the lethal yorker, Jordan made batting difficult for the Indian batsmen in patches in the first two games. While Jordan will look to finally tick the wickets column in the third game, Kohli will want to ensure that he has most of the strike when Jordan is looking to unleash the yorkers at the death.
Alex Hales vs Kuldeep Yadav
From winning the Man of the Match award for his spell of 5/24 in the opening T20I to being hammered for 34 runs from his four overs in the second game, Yadav was handed a reality check in the previous game. Man of the Match Hales looked in complete control against Yadav and even stepped down the track to hit one of his 3 sixes in the innings against the left-arm wrist-spinner. But the chinaman will want to come back strongly in the final game, especially against the in-form Hales.
Umesh Yadav vs Jos Buttler
After picking 2/21 in the first T20I, Yadav once again returned figures of 2/36 in the second T20I. Even though the fast bowler was slightly wayward at times, he definitely looked to bother Buttler with his line and length just outside the off-stump. Skipper Virat Kohli dropped a sitter when Buttler tried to drive on the up against Umesh, but the bowler returned to send back the dangerous Buttler. The ploy to cramp Buttler up worked wonders and it will be interesting to see how the two face-up against each other in the decider.
MS Dhoni vs Adil Rashid
Gone are the days when Dhoni would take a good 10-15 balls before settling down at the crease. Even in the last T20I, it was the fourth ball off his innings — from Liam Plunkett — that sped to the long-leg boundary. But it was his helicopter shot off the next over against Rashid that had fans up in celebration. Known for his attacking approach to the bowling crease, Dhoni will need to use his quick feet movement to ensure that he doesn’t let Rashid settle down into rhythm. Four quiet overs from Rashid will definitely be what Eoin Morgan will look at from his spin spearhead.
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First Published: July 8, 2018, 1:00 PM IST