Friday, January 30, WACA
Start time 11.20am (0320 GMT)
There is no need for complicated maths to work out the possible permutations from this game, no reason to worry about bonus points and net run-rates. The equation is simple. Whichever team wins on Friday will play Australia in the tri-series final on Sunday. In case of a tie or a wash-out, England go though and India miss out. Perhaps it's a good warm-up for both sides ahead of the World Cup, which features two knockout phases before the final. On recent form, England deserve to go in as favourites, after crushing India in their only previous meeting in this series, when India were skittled for 153 at the Gabba.
England's side seems fairly settled, while India appear unclear about their preferred combinations on the eve of the World Cup. India have used 15 players so far in the series compared to England's 12, and the fitness of Rohit Sharma has necessitated changes at the top of the order. Rohit is back close to full fitness, but India have decided to not risk him so close to the World Cup.
Their wash-out in Sydney against Australia robbed them of time in the middle, but has also ensured they remain alive in the tournament. But for one of these teams, Friday's game will be their last ODI before the World Cup.
(last five matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Seven wickets from the past two games has been a strong return for Steven Finn, who looms as an important man for England in the World Cup, given the conditions. He will find few venues in the world that offer him the kind of bounce available at the WACA, but he should not expect the pitch to do all the work for him, and finding the right length will be his challenge.
Ajinkya Rahane has made starts in all three games so far, but 33 is his best score. In Sydney he was at the crease on 28 when the match was abandoned, and he is coming off a highly encouraging Test series in which he showed he could handle the Australian conditions. With Shikhar Dhawan struggling for form, a big score as opener would really make Rahane hard to move down the order during the World Cup.
England's side is reasonably settled and there is no reason to expect changes in a knockout match.
England (possible) 1 Ian Bell, 2 Moeen Ali, 3 James Taylor, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.
With Rohit not playing on the Friday, India are likely to go with the same XI that played, or hoped to play, in Sydney.
India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Ambati Rayudu, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 7 Stuart Binny, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Axar Patel, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Ishant Sharma.
Pitch and conditions
The WACA usually provides some extra bounce and pace, and the forecast for Friday is for a possible shower or storm and a top temperature of 37C.
Stats and trivia
- England and India have met only once before in Perth, in the 1992 World Cup, when England won by nine runs
- Ian Bell is the leading run scorer in the tournament, with 229 from just three games
- India's leading run scorer in the series is Rohit Sharma, who has played only one match for 138
"I think it is important to win this game given the lack of success we've had before this tour. We've built a confidence in our preparation, in the game in Brisbane and in performances leading into the start of this series. So as momentum and confidence goes I think it's quite a big game."
"They had the psychological advantage in ODIs in England as well."
MS Dhoni makes light of the suggestion that England might have the psychological advantage after their win over India in Brisbane
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale