India vs England: How Dharamshala pitch gonna play in the fifth test?

Dharamshala Stadium

The fifth and final Test match between India and England is set to take place at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala. The pitch and weather conditions in this hilly city have traditionally favoured pace bowlers, but the upcoming Test match could present unique challenges for both teams.

The recent rains in Dharamshala have not allowed the drying-up process to begin, and no grass was spotted on the surface. Even if there is any grass by the time of the clash, it will likely be shaved off by the time of the toss. The HPCA has installed a new, cold-wave-resistant grass type on the Dharamshala outfield for this Test.

The pitch is expected to be a slow turner. It might not offer variable bounce as the Ranchi pitch did due to its wide cracks, but it will surely get difficult to bat from Day 3 onwards. The conditions at the HPCA Stadium could feature many unique challenges for both sides.

The last fixture played at the HPCA Stadium was a clash between Delhi and Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy in February 2024. Going by those conditions, pacers could get some help from the surface, and the batters, once they get settled onto the crease, should enjoy the conditions in Dharamshala.

However, more than the surface, the weather could prove to be a bigger hindrance in the fifth Test. The forecasts have predicted that rain could be quite a possibility on day 1 of the clash. After India’s final net session was completed, head coach Rahul Dravid took part in a conversation with the pitch curators, and the staff sprayed the pitch with a drying agent, post the conversation.

The pitch and weather conditions in Dharamshala for the fifth Test match between India and England are set to make the game an exciting and challenging encounter. It will be interesting to see how both teams adapt to these conditions and strategize their game plans accordingly.

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