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Bairstow holds key for England

Bairstow holds key for England

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England may be forced to make changes at just the wrong time, as they prepare to face India at Headingley on Tuesday in a decisive third one-day international.

Alex Hales has missed the opening two ODIs due to a side strain and that may prove to be more important if a hand injury forces Jason Roy to sit out the series decider in Leeds.

Should Roy be sidelined, James Vince is poised for a late call and may even get the chance to open the batting with a smack in-form Jonny Bairstow.

Jonny Bairstow – top team batsman @ 16/5

If Roy is missing, Bairstow will have to shoulder the responsibility of being the main man at the top of the order, but this may work in his favour, with the powerful right-hander having made 38 in each of the opening two one-dayers.

He could be forced to knuckle down a little more if necessary and that should help him to build on some good recent starts and go on to a big score – the added pleasure of being on home turf at Headingley will only add to his motivation.

As a back-up, skipper Eoin Morgan (5/1) may take your fancy, especially when you consider that he has scored two fifties and a century in six previous ODI knocks in Leeds.

Liam Plunkett – top team bowler @ 14/5

Paceman Liam Plunkett will be another man enjoying home comforts at Headingley and he showed himself to be by far the most consistent of the England seam attack in the second one-dayer at Lord’s, finishing with 4-46.

He may not have enjoyed too much success in previous ODI appearances in Leeds, but he is in exactly the right form needed to improve his record.

Shikhar Dhawan – top team batsman @ 16/5

Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan, like Bairstow, has failed to cash in on two good starts in the series to date, having made 40 and 36.

He has two centuries in his last nine one-day innings for India and has only failed to reach 30 once in that time, so there is no doubt that another big score is lurking somewhere just around the corner.

The same could be said of Indian captain Virat Kohli (47/20), whose record is so good that it is hard to say he is ever out of form.

Five hundreds in his last 11 ODI innings only serve to heighten the feeling that he will want to sign off in style ahead of the upcoming five-match Test series.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.