Unbeaten in bilateral contest Vs Eng since 2011, India eye series win

Leeds: Their middle-order frailties laid bare in the previous match especially MS Dhoni’s slow batting, India would be aiming to plug the loopholes in Tuesday’s deciding third and final ODI against England, where a win would fetch Virat Kohli’s men their 10th successive series triumph. Smarting from their 86-run loss at Lord’s after winning the first game in Nottingham by eight wickets, India have their task cut out. Victory in London confirmed England’s spot as the No.1 ODI side in the ICC Rankings. A win for India at Headingley will only help close the gap and hand them the bragging rights before the Test series begins on August 1.

The Men in Blue have been on a high-flying streak in bilateral ODI cricket. Going as far back as January 2016, when they last lost 4-1 in Australia, India have won every bilateral ODI series since, beating Zimbabwe, New Zealand, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. India haven’t lost a bilateral contest to England since 2011. Since that 3-0 loss here seven years ago, India have enjoyed the upper-hand, winning 10 out of 17 matches. -PTI

Assistant coach Bangar comes to Dhoni’s defence

Leeds: India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar on Monday came to the defence of the under-fire Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying losing wickets at regular intervals did not allow the veteran campaigner to play freely in the second ODI at Lord’s. “He (Dhoni) was just hoping someone would bat with him and we were just hoping that he could bat till the 40th over and take the bowlers on. But, every time he looked to do that, we lost wickets and then there was no batting to follow for him to do the usual stuff he does,” he added.

Roy suffers injury, Billings called in

Leeds: Wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has been called up to the England ODI squad as cover for opener Jason Roy for the third ODI against India here on Tuesday. Roy suffered a laceration to his right-hand little finger during practice on Monday. He will undergo a fitness test before the game. Batsman James Vince is also in the squad as cover, previously called in to replace Dawid Malan.

Stats and trivia

  • 4 of their last ODIs at Headingley England have won, with their most recent defeat coming against Sri Lanka in 2011.
  • 2 wickets Kuldeep needs for 50 in ODIs – if he gets them at Headingley, in his 23rd match, he will equal Ajit Agarkar as the fastest for India.
  • 68 runs Jonny Bairstow needs to reach 2000.

Pitch and conditions

The surface at Headingley is usually good for run-scoring, with the white Kookaburra unlikely to be persuaded to do much whatever the overhead conditions.