Both India and England have won one each in the series    AFP
Both India and England have won one each in the series AFP

A Test series win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, West Indies in West Indies, and South Africa, New Zealand, and England at home: Virat Kohli, as a Test captain, has a had a phenomenal time. In his first series as full-time ODI captain, India drubbed England 2-1 in a series that saw 6 300-plus totals. He has not had a setback when at helm. However, if Eoin Morgan s England put a final nail in the coffin in the third ODI at Bengaluru s Chinnaswamy Stadium, Kohli will experience his first defeat as captain across formats, at his home away from home, in a city that has Kohli as their captain of the IPL team, RCB.

Famous Bengaluru crowd

Chinnaswamy Stadium is nothing less than a Bermuda Triangle for the bowlers. A belter of a track, fast outfield, and shorter boundaries, it is undoubtedly a paradise for the batters. This, however, will affect Indian bowlers lesser than their English counterparts, because they the Indians will have the boisterous crowd behind them to support them tirelessly. In addition, England bowlers will have to appeal on the top of their voices to be heard by the umpires.

Batting collapse

Had MS Dhoni not hit two boundaries in the last over of first T20I and KL Rahul not scored almost 50 per cent of team s total in the second one, India would not have scored past 140. Kohli has looked patchy, getting out in 20s. Suresh Raina has looked out of sorts against Adil Rashid in Nagpur. Yuvraj Singh could manage 16 off 25 in both matches. Not once did the Indian batting unit performed as a cohesive unit the way they did in the Tests and ODIs.

England faced no trouble in the series opener. Jason Roy and Sam Billings made sure of that at the top of the order. Captain Eoin Morgan has a penchant for scoring briskly at crucial junctures. If not anyone, Joe Root chips in with vital runs without anyone noticing. However, they could churn out only 35 off 30 when they had 7 wickets in hand at Nagpur. Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler all fell prey to Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah s staggering death bowling, failing to take the team over the line.

Death bowling

Be it Chris Jordan or the Nehra-Bumrah pair, death bowling has been spectacular in this series. In an era that sees very little margin for error for the bowlers, this series produced some top-drawer bowling in the end. From back-of-hand slower deliveries to the toe-crushing yorkers, the bowlers gave all their might against all odds to contain the onslaught when the batsmen are in the last gear.

This is Bengaluru, though: one mistake, and the bowler will be smashed to pulp.

RCB factor

Kohli has not won an IPL title for RCB yet. In the previous edition, he blasted nearly 1,000 runs, scored as many as 4 hundreds, and yet failed to lift the title for Bengaluru. This is a big moment for him, to clinch a series in a city that considers him its very own.

Rahul, RCB s latest batting sensation, scored a resounding 71 off 47 balls in the last match. When he will come to open with Kohli, the crowd is likely to go berserk.

Jordan and Morgan may not play for RCB anymore, but the Englishmen know what it is to play for and against the home team.

And then there is leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, second-highest wicket-taker of IPL 2016. All the same, he will be itching to send the English openers packing like he did in the Kanpur T20I.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario: Kohli c Morgan b Jordan, or Morgan c Kohli b Chahal.


Bengaluru has hosted 4 T20Is. The team fielding first won 3 of them. And given Kohli s luck with the toss, his batting arsenal has to trigger more runs if they are put to bat first for the third consecutive time this series.

The only time India batted first at this venue was against Bangladesh, in the 2016 World T20. The last over from the match remains etched in our memory, not because Hardik Pandya bowled well but the Bangladesh batters snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. But again, India were on the brink of losing the match. Toss will therefore be a crucial factor.

If not these facts, there is one more that pushes India in a spot of bother: in the two matches they have played here they have failed to surpass 150, just like they did in the first contests of this series.

For that matter, the highest international total at this ground is 157, despite it being a featherbed for the batsmen. Nonetheless, the highest total at the venue, in IPL, is 263.

Team composition

Amit Mishra dismissed the in-form Morgan as well as knocked over Stokes in the same over but overstepped only to gift the southpaw a free hit. Otherwise, his figures read 4-0-25-1.

The 19-year-old Rishabh Pant will have to continue warming the bench, for India are likely to play the same playing XI.

England, on the other, would face a conundrum as to whether to replace spinner Liam Dawson his namesake fast bowler Plunkett. Let us not forget the length of boundary line, which will put England in further enigma.


India: Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Mandeep Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, , Parvez Rasool, Amit Mishra, Yuzvendra Chahal.

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jake Ball, Chris Jordan, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, David Willey.

With inputs from Abhishek Kumar.

Time: 19.00 (IST) | 13.30 (GMT)