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England still have plenty to play for in Dharamsala today

Fears that the fifth and final one-day international between England and India would not go ahead on Sunday were put to bed as the teams awoke here in perfect cricketing weather.


England players celebrate the wicket of MS Dhoni during their Twenty20 World Cup match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 23, 2012 (inset) Jos Buttler. PIC/AFP

Reports had been circling that the ground was covered in snow just days ago and India batsman Virat Kohli publicly questioned whether the fixture would take place.

But both squads flew in to find the stunning stadium — set against a picturesque backdrop of the Himalayan foothills — in fine condition. The pitch curator also confirmed that it had not snowed at the ground for more than a year.

England’s Jos Buttler was left highly impressed by the scene and is ready to go on Sunday. “It’s looks fine here, there’s a bit of snow on the mountain tops but it’s quite warm today. I think we should be fine,” he said.

“It’s very different, it has a ski chalet vibe to it. It’s a beautiful ground in a stunning setting and everyone is very excited to play. We are all looking forward to the game.”

With India having taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in Mohali, the game is a dead rubber. But Buttler, who made just his second ODI appearance in the previous fixture, insists the tourists are not short of motivation.

“It is another huge opportunity for everyone. Any time you play for England is a huge honour,” he said. “There is plenty to play for, individual pride and team pride. It’s always a huge game against India in their own back yard. We want to win the game,” he added.

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