India v England, 5th ODI, Dharamsala January 26, 2013

Dharamsala set for international debut


Match facts

January 27, 2013
Start time 0930 (0400 GMT)

Big Picture

The cold and tranquil surroundings of the hill resort of Dharamsala are set to be abuzz with the clamour of international cricket. The curious choice of the newest entrant on the international cricketing map in peak winter has generated considerable interest, but snow is unlikely to make an appearance. The series having been decided in Mohali, it's not surprising that cricket talk has taken a backseat with players taking time out for sightseeing. However, the peaks around the picturesque valley stand tall as a constant reminder of heights the two teams haven't been able to scale with their cricket.

India have had a topsy-turvy time in the last three months, but the win has come as respite from the losses they endured in the Test series and the ODIs against Pakistan. While they have at least a semblance of answers to questions pertaining to the middle order, bowling, fielding and, to some extent, Rohit Sharma's role, others - Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir, for example - remain unanswered. A win here at least would keep the detractors relatively quiet for now.

England, who played so well in the Tests, are a shadow of themselves. They have a young side, but it is the experienced among them who have failed to inspire. Players like Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan haven't done much of note. But they have had positives too - Steven Finn has enhanced his reputation while Joe Root has impressed with his composure. The team is headed to New Zealand from here and as they play the T20s and ODIs first up, they need more positives from this tour.

Form guide

India WWWLW (Most recent first)
England LLLWL

In the spotlight

He waited and waited for his chance in Tests, but when he got one, he made it count. An agonising wait for an ODI debut has continued though for Cheteshwar Pujara. Speculations that he would walk into the XI once he became part of the squad were quashed immediately by the India captain. With the series in the bag, will India give him a chance?

Alastair Cook has been as efficient as ever and has two half-centuries in the series. But three times he has been out lbw, two times to deliveries pitching outside leg. While he will continue to be the main man behind England laying the foundation for a big total, he will hope the umpires allow him a full run.

Team news

Chris Woakes, who has replaced Tim Bresnan in England's squad to New Zealand, is likely to find a place in the XI, while Stuart Meaker could replace Jade Dernbach.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell,3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Samit Patel, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Chris Woakes, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Stuart Meaker

India could bring in Cheteshwar Pujara in place of Gautam Gambhir, but he might not open. "You will see a new batting attack tomorrow," Suresh Raina suggested in the pre-match press conference.

India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir/Cheteshwar Pujara, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Shami Ahmed, 11 Ishant Sharma

Pitch and conditions

It is a 9.30am start in Dharamsala and the ball is expected to nip around in the cool conditions.

Stats and trivia

  • The HPCA stadium is the 43rd ODI venue in India. It's the second northern-most venue after Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir stadium, which hosted two ODIs between 1983 and 1986. It is also the fourth highest ground in the world behind, the stadiums in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Harare
  • Ian Bell is 96 short of 4000 ODI runs. He will be the eighth English player to get to the landmark if he gets there. Suresh Raina 15 away from 4000


"Definitely, I would like to bat higher up the order If I am given a chance. I would like to give my 100% as it will also give me an opportunity to play more overs."
Suresh Raina possibly throws his hat in the ring for the opening slot

"While seeing snow on the surrounding mountains gives an impression that it is chilly, the weather is quite tolerable and fit for the game."
An English fan in Dharamsala

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on January 27, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    @Shan156 on (January 26 2013, 23:37 PM GMT) I see we made a change today. I'd still like to have seen Briggs given a go but playing only 2 pacers seems too much of a new concept for our selectors to go for. TBH , I think deep down I wasn't expecting the whitewash but it would not have surprised me. I think you are on the same wavelength as me in that while we may have both expected defeat , it's been frustrating in that we've not tried the changes in order to arrest the problem. In some ways there are more negatives to come out of the ODI series. The positives are that Finn now seems a definite ODI pick and Tredwell has come out of the series well and also Root. So I now say we go with Jimmy,Finn,Tredwell,Swann and Root as a 6th bowler but not sure about the 5th bowler. Ideally I like a specialist bowler but is anyone that reliable in shorter forms? Maybe we have Root as a 5th and another part timer as a 6th

  • Ben on January 27, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Kiwirocker, "England...are no where near likes of Sri Lanka, SA, Pakistan and Australia". Would that be the same England who, in the last twelve months, beat Pakistan and Australia 4-0 in ODIs, and drew 2-2 with SA." Or some other England team that I somehow missed?

  • uncle bob on January 27, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Gambhir prevailed. He should have been axed for Pujara. I guess It may be Gambhirs last chance to prove himself.

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    End the frustration to Pujara.. give him a chance.. Jaddu scores triple and gets a place.. Pujara scores triple.. Rohit gets a chance who has an average of 10 in the last 10 innings..

  • Kannan on January 27, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Today give rest for Dhoni ,Raina and B.Kumar and give chance to Rahane ,Pujara and Dinda.

  • Bobby on January 27, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    This a battle of minnows. Both England and India are not among top ODI sides depsite the flawed ICC ranking system. They are no where near likes of Sri Lanka, SA, Pakistan and Australia. Those teams have varied and very versitle bowling attacks that both these teams lack, however, England has rested their top side so once Anderson, Swann and Broad are back then they are a strong side. On other hand, one should not read into too much even if India wins 4-1 as horse is already bolted for India. This result will be huge affected by terrible umpiring decisions that have gone against England.India on other hand has benefited from reprieves to Dhoni, Rani and Yuvraj. Only margical decision against them was Gambhir in last OD.As write pointed out,India has more questions than answers. Sehwag has disappeared, once hyped Saeed Ajmal, Ashwin looks ordinary.Yvraj's form is poor. Kohli has only clicked once in last 7 ODI's. Both Shami and Bhuvnesh are a positive but are clueless in death overs!

  • sanjeewa on January 27, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    Congratulations for inauguration of international cricket on most beautiful stadium in the world!from Sri Lanka..

  • Shanmugam on January 26, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    @JG2704, most Eng. fans, including yours truly, were expecting to receive a 0-5 hammering, so I am quite happy that we won one game. While I admit that India are a better ODI side than we are in these conditions and were deserving winners, I think we could have put a better fight had we got the right personnel in this series - Buttler for Kieswetter and anyone for Dernbach. While Bell started the series well, I still feel that he is not cut out for ODIs especially in these conditions. He wastes the powerplay overs and doesn't rotate the strike enough. Ability to pick gaps is key and Bell hasn't done that in this series. Unfortunately, I don't think there are too many talents knocking on the door. Very happy for Cook though. Never thought he would be a good ODI player and I am glad he has proven me wrong.

  • Stephen on January 26, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    SurlyCynic, I'm sure Warwickshire going from relegation favourites to winning the county championship in two seasons is probably in spite of him; and the likes of Chris Wright, I'm sure that even though he went from being unwanted at a second division club, to being the to wicket taker for the county champions, I'm sure that Giles did his best to ruin him too.

  • uncle bob on January 26, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Since the match is inconsequential I think Dhoni should bat at nymber 3 and show us the fire power to brighten the Dharmshala stadium. Will be fun, Jadeja should also be given a chance at 4 to see what can he do there. I think since he is grafter a few more overs will give him opportunity to settle down then go for fire works. excited to watch this match. Go Dhoni go...

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