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India vs England: Middle-order Form India’s Major Concern in Series Decider at Headingley

The Indian cricket team will look to sort their middle-order problems, which came to the fore in the last match, as they clash with hosts England in the third and final ODI of the three-match series in Headingley on Tuesday.

Cricketnext Staff |July 17, 2018, 1:39 PM IST
India vs England: Middle-order Form India’s Major Concern in Series Decider at Headingley

India will be looking for their middle order to find some form in the final match of their ODI series against England in Headingley on Tuesday. Following a thumping 8-wicket win at Trent Bridge, India succumbed to an 86-run loss at Lord's, which has forced the series into this winner-take-all contest.

England, riding on the back of a strong performance at Lord’s, will start confidently at a venue where they have an impressive record historically. England have won 63% of their matches at Leeds and Old Trafford is the only venue in the country where they have a better record. Moreover, the home side will be buoyed by the fact that they have won four out of their last five matches at Headingley.

eng win

For India, there’s suddenly some glaring problems to resolve, especially in the middle order. Their top-order has been among the runs with Shikhar Dhawan (40 & 36) being the only one who hasn't had a 50+ score so far though he has had starts in the two matches. KL Rahul, who has been batting at number four, has scores of 9* and 0 so far and will be keen to reproduce the form he showed in the T20Is.

Suresh Raina will also be eager to make the most of his return to the ODI set-up. After a rare top-order collapse at Lord's, however, the southpaw could only muster 46 off 63 deliveries that slowed down the run-rate and put pressure on the other batsmen in the chase. With Shreyas Iyer and Dinesh Karthik waiting in the wings, Raina will know that his opportunities are at a premium. MS Dhoni, who played a painstaking knock in his last innings at Lord’s and was in fact booed by the crowd, will want to end his English summer with a signature performance.

In the absence of Bhunveshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, India's pace department has been ineffective so far with Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul failing to bring their impressive Indian Premier League form on to the international stage. Hardik Pandya went for plenty at Lord’s as well, leaving the skipper with limited options to control a strong England batting line-up. Shardul Thakur is the only back-up seamer in the squad but it is unlikely that India will jettison the incumbent bowlers for a series decider.

bowl overall

As for England, they will be high on confidence after a thumping win in the last ODI, and will be eager to take that form in the final clash. Openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have shown glimpses of good form and with Joe Root returning to form with a classy ton at Lord's, the batting has a formidable look to it.

Skipper Eoin Morgan, who has scores of 19 and 53 in the series, will be confident of inflicting further misery on the Indian bowlers as he enjoys a good record at this venue. Morgan is one of the highest run-getters at this venue (292 runs) and in his 6 innings at Headingley, he has managed to score a fifty plus score every alternate innings.


With a win in the second ODI, England have already confirmed their place at the top of ICC ODI rankings, irrespective of the result of the final match. A win for second-placed India will help them edge closer to the home side on the table and also give them momentum for the Test series starting in a couple of weeks.


England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Mark Wood, James Vince.

India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Siddarth Kaul, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

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