India look to solve middle-order woes in series’ finale

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LEEDS, July 16: Their middle-order frailties laid bare in the previous match, 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 the 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 Headlingley will only help close the gap and hand them the bragging rights before the Test series begins on August 1.
India had previously won the T20I series 2-1. 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 1-4 in Australia, India have won every bilateral ODI series since, beating Zimbabwe, New
Zealand (twice), England, West Indies, Sri Lanka (twice), Australia and South Africa, both home and away.
It is also another opportunity to ascertain their ODI supremacy over England, for India haven’t lost a bilateral contest to this opposition since 2011.
Since that 0-3 loss in England seven years ago, India have enjoyed the upper-hand, winning 10 out of 17 matches.
Considering England’s ascendancy in white-ball cricket since 2015, the equation has balanced out over the last two encounters. India won the closelyfought home series 2-1 in January 2017, and now the current contest will finish with the same score-line, either way. (PTI)