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January 22, 2013
England's cricketers might think they are escaping the big freeze by being in India but they are likely to encounter shivering temperatures themselves later this week when they travel to Dharamsala on Sunday for the final ODI with doubts even persisting as to whether the game will go ahead.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, 1317 metres above sea level, the forecast is for temperatures to stay in single figures and there remains the chance of snow. However, organisers remain "hopeful" of getting a full 50-over contest in for the ground's first international.
India, though, are determined not to leave anything to chance as they aim to wrap up the series. "It's not certain we are going to have a game in Dharamsala," Virat Kohli said. "We are all aware, so this game becomes all the more important. It makes the game really, really important."
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium has hosted IPL matches over the past couple of years, serving as the second home for the Kings XI Punjab franchise. It was the IPL experience that convinced the association that they were capable of hosting international games.
However, the location also has issues with a lack of suitable hotels while the runway at the nearby airport is only capable of handling small planes so both England and India are likely to make the trip from Mohali by road.
The problems of stage matches in the north of India at this time of year has also led to a change in the schedule for the India-Australia Test matches. That series will now start in south before heading to Mohali and Delhi later in March.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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