In the last four instances when a bilateral series has been decided in the final game, India have emerged victorious thrice — against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in 2017 and once again against the Kiwis in 2016. The last time India ended up on the losing side in a series decider was against South Africa in 2015.
Here's an in-depth look at their recent record:
India vs Sri Lanka, 3 ODIs (2017)
In the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2017, India lost the opening game in Dharamsala. But the team bounced back in Mohali, courtesy Rohit Sharma’s third ODI double century. In the third ODI in Vishakhapatnam, the wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal combined to bowl out the visitors for just 215. After that, it was the Shikhar Dhawan show as he registered his 12th ODI century to guide India home.
India vs New Zealand, 3 ODIs (2017)
Similar to the Sri Lanka series, India were beaten by New Zealand in the opening game in Mumbai, but their fortunes changed in Pune. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ensured that India level the series. The final ODI in Kanpur turned out to be a high-scoring thriller, with only six runs separating both the sides. On the back of centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, India notched up 337 in their 50 overs. New Zealand were in pole position to complete the run-chase. But with 35 runs required from the last four, Bumrah and Kumar bowled exceptionally in the death to deny the Kiwis a win.
India vs New Zealand, 5 ODIs (2016)
Unlike the 2017 decider, the final game of the 2016 series against the Kiwis turned out to be a one-sided affair, courtesy of Amit Mishra. With Kane Williamson’s side having to chase 270 on a slow turner, the leg-spinner produced figures of 5/18, sending the visitors crumbling to 79 all out.
India vs South Africa, 5 ODIs (2015)
India’s previous loss in a bilateral ODI series at home came in 2015 against South Africa under extraordinary circumstances. Both sides exchanged victories over four ODIs to set the decider at the Wankhede Stadium. Batting first, South Africa put together a massive 438/4 in their 50 overs, with Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers producing fabulous centuries. Despite stroke-filled half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, India never threatened the target and succumbed to their first ever ODI series defeat to the Proteas at home.
Since that loss against South Africa, India have won every bilateral series which has gone down to the final game. Additionally, India have won 10 consecutive bilateral series since their 4-1 away loss to Australia back in 2015-16.
On the other hand, England have won seven consecutive bilateral series (involving multiple matches). Their previous loss, however, did come against India in 2016-17, losing the three-match series in the subcontinent 2-1.
With both sides boasting of impressive records in recent bilateral contests, the final ODI on Tuesday has all the makings of being a humdinger.
First Published: July 16, 2018, 6:17 PM IST