The next edition of the 50-over World Cup is just under a year away, and with India in their shores, England want to use the final – deciding – ODI to try and put some of their knockout cricket out on the field.
The three-match series is level 1-1, Kuldeep Yadav’s six-strike heroics in the first ODI were nullified by Joe Root’s century in the second. And now, England want to simulate the pressures of a semi-final in the final encounter before the teams face off in five Tests.
“I think for the Test-match side of things, it is great to get certain people out or get runs against them. But it is more of impact for the World Cup,” said Wood.
“If we can use this game as a semi-final, a must-win with the pressure on, we can learn what we are doing wrong if we don’t win or what we are doing right if we do win. Over the past year, we have dealt with these situations well and hopefully we can carry on that trend tomorrow.”
Standing in England’s way is Yadav. Yadav picked up seven wickets in two T20Is in Ireland, and has since picked up 14 wickets in England.
England seemed to have worked him out in the second T20I after he had returned 5/24 in the first, but after being dropped for the third T20I, Yadav has bounced back with 6/25 and 3/68 in the ODIs.
Unfortunately for England, they might be without Jason Roy for the final ODI, but with Root back in form, the confidence in the camp is high.
“It’s definitely a plus point for our players to bat well against him. I know he still took wickets (3/68), but we managed to get some runs against him and put him under a little bit of pressure,” said Wood.
“I think the main thing is he keeps getting wickets in his first over. So, I think that’s the key going into this game, that if he gets a wicket early, his confidence is up again. If we can try to nullify that wicket-taking option that he’s got straight away, then hopefully we can shift the momentum against him to us.”