England opener Jason Roy may miss Tuesday’s series decider against India at Headingley, with James Vince in line for his first one-day international appearance in almost two years.
Roy is struggling with a finger injury on his right hand that he sustained while fielding during the 86-run victory over India at Lord’s on Saturday.
He is rated as highly doubtful to play the third and final ODI in Leeds, so Hampshire captain Vince could be drafted in for the contest, despite not playing a 50-over game for his country since the tour of Bangladesh in October 2016.
It leaves Vince, who lost his Test place at the start of the summer, with the chance to possibly add to his four ODI innings, having scored over 500 runs in Hampshire’s victorious Royal London One-Day Cup campaign recently.
Tuesday’s contest will also give England a chance to claim an early psychological victory over India ahead of next summer’s World Cup on home soil.
Seamer Mark Wood wants the hosts to embrace the pressure that comes with a must-win scenario and views it as perfect preparation for next year’s tournament, when the stakes will be even higher.
“I think this has an impact for the World Cup,” Wood said. “We can use it as a game where it might be (like) a semi-final or a knock-out game. It’s a series decider here, which will be like a World Cup match – it’s a must-win.
“Luckily, over the past year we’ve managed these situations really well. Hopefully we can carry on that trend.”
With the countries currently ranked one and two in the ICC ODI world rankings, Wood attributes the margins to both teams’ killer instincts.
“It’s two very good sides – when they’re on top, they really are on top, you keep your foot on the throat and don’t let opposition up,” he explained.
“Everyone in the England team will hold their hands up and say in the first game we were absolutely drilled, we were beaten into the dirt. We knew we had to improve for the second game.
“I don’t know why the margins are so big, maybe it’s just two really good teams and when they are on top the quality really comes through. I’d like to think that this one could still be a big margin for us.
“We’ve shown plenty of character from the first game to the second game, shown little improvements that were needed. Hopefully it can shine through again.”
Kent’s Sam Billings, who featured in an ODI against Australia last month, has been called up by England as cover due to Roy’s finger injury.
Roy will undergo a fitness test prior to play in Leeds on Tuesday to determine if he can be involved in the third and final match.