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International Cricket - Cricket: England vs India - Third ODI preview

England and India may both have struggled to hit top form in their opening two ODIs, but they have set up a tasty series decider at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The three-match series is all level at 1-1 heading into the Manchester finale, with the tourists having trounced the Three Lions by ten wickets in the first ODI, before being thumped by 100 runs in the second one-dayer on Thursday.

That leaves a tricky task in trying to predict what will happen on Sunday, with England 4/5 to claim a series-winning victory, while India can be backed at 1/1.

What:England v India, Third One-day International
Where:Old Trafford, Manchester
When:11:00, Sunday 17th July 2022
How to watch:Sky Sports Cricket
OddsEngland 4/5, India 1/1 

Batting failing to fire

Batters on both sides have struggled to make much of an impact during the first two matches of the series, with England's 246 all out at Lord's on Thursday the highest total of the series.

With the amount of firepower in both line-ups you would certainly have expected far more before the action got under way, but conditions at both The Oval and Lord's appear to have offered far more assistance to the bowlers than was expected.

However, it is probably England who will feel a little less concerned, with Jason Roy (23) and Jonny Bairstow (38) having both made starts in the second match before giving their wickets away.

Joe Root, Ben Stokes and skipper Jos Buttler have failed to fire so far, but all three possess class which will surely come to the surface sooner rather than later - England will hope that is as soon as Sunday.

With Bairstow priced at 3/1 to be top team batter he may be worth following, having made a century and an 84 in the Old Trafford-based series against Australia in September 2020.

However, should the England top order struggle again, Moeen Ali at 18/1 has looked in good nick so far in the series and is tempting outsider.

India batting undercooked

The tourists may be more concerned, with only Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan having been required to bat in the first ODI, before they were swept away for 146 at Lord's, as left-armer Reece Topley recorded record England figures of 6-24.

Rohit, Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant contributed 25 runs between them on Thursday and they will need to be far more productive on Sunday if India are to prevail.

Kohli, whose position is amazingly starting to be questioned in some quarters, made 72 against West Indies and 77 against Pakistan in 2019 World Cup matches in Manchester.

Rohit blasted 140 from 113 balls in the win over Pakistan and he is 11/4 to be leading India batter on Sunday and may just be a slightly better prospect than his long-time team-mate.

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Bowlers enjoying themselves

Bowlers on both sides have used helpful conditions to their advantage in the first two games of the series, with Topley's six-fer being matched by Jasprit Bumrah in India's dominant win in the series opener.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal impressed in taking 4-47 at Lord's and he is likely to get some help from the Old Trafford pitch in the middle overs of the innings, while you can usually expect some swing with the new ball in Manchester.

And the performance of Chahal could be crucial to the final outcome, with England still without the services of their own star leggie, Adil Rashid.

Chahal is 10/3 to be top team bowler and 16/1 to be named as player of the match.

Recent history suggests toss is crucial

The toss of the coin on Sunday could have a massive impact on who eventually wins the match and the series, if recent results at Old Trafford can be relied on as a guide.

Eight of the last nine ODIs played in Manchester have been won by the team batting first, with the sole exception the most recent one-dayer at Old Trafford.

That was almost two years ago, when Australia ended the runs of losses of teams batting second by reaching 305-7 with two balls remaining against England.

Having been reduced to 73-5 chasing 303, both Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell struck centuries to lead the Baggy Greems to victory, one which also shows that runs could be more plentiful than they have been in the first two matches of the current series.

A packed house at Old Trafford would no doubt love to be treated to a run-filled encounter to go with the expected sunshine in Manchester.

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