India won the toss and chose to field in the third and final One-day International against England at Eden Gardens here on Sunday. India made one change to the team that won in Pune and Cuttack to seal the series with Ajinkya Rahane replacing Shikhar Dhawan. England replaced Alex Hales with Sam Billings and Joe Root with Jonny Bairstow. (Scorecard)
Dhawan was struggling for form in the two one-dayers having scored 1 in Pune and 11 in Cuttack. India’s opening stand yielded 13 and 14 in the two one-dayers before the action moved to Eden. With this being the last ODI India play before the Champions Trophy in June, this is a chance to try and sort out things at the top of the order. Kohli had said as much after the win in Cuttack on Thursday.
For England, this would be a chance to notch up a first should they manage to pull one back. They have never won a One-day International at one of cricket’s most iconic amphitheatres having lost all three previous encounters including a World Cup final in 1987 against Allan Border’s Australia. Every match between now and the Champions Trophy would be a stepping block, said Jason Roy at the media conference on Saturday. So, it fit that Root, England’s best batsman who scored 78 and 54 at Pune and Cuttack respectively, would be rested.
This would be India’s 20th ODI at Eden. They have won 11 of the 19 played here before this. The one against West Indies here on October 20, 2014, was cancelled. The last time an ODI was held at the Eden, Rohit Sharma scored a world record 264.