Virat Kohli has cast doubt over whether the fifth one-day international in Dharamsala against England will take place. The Himalayan hill station, which sits almost 1,500 metres above sea level, has never before hosted an international match but was approved to do so on January 27 despite being deep in the winter season.
This month has already seen significant snowfall in Dharamsala, while weather forecasts suggest the match could be due to start in temperatures at, or just below, freezing point. Runway restrictions at the nearby airport in Gaggal mean some support staff and kit bags from each team will have to travel by road, which could also prove challenging.
Yet rumours the fixture would be reallocated have come to nothing and the England and Wales Cricket Board have not been told to make any contingencies. But Kohli admits the Indian players are not convinced a match will be possible. As such, he has told his side, who are 2-1 up, to clinch the series in the fourth ODI at Mohali today and not rely on Dharamsala.
“It’s not certain we are going to have a game in Dharamsala,” he admitted. “We are all aware (of the weather problems) so this game becomes all the more important. It makes the game really, really important. “We have to step up tomorrow. We will treat the game like it is the last in the series, we have to. But when you lose the first game in a series, that is how you go into every game.”
Meanwhile, Kohli, who is back amongst the runs with a fine 50 in Ranchi, feels the No 3 position in the batting order is best suited to him and he would like to carry on playing in the top-order. “No 3 position has been working fine for me. I wouldn’t know too much about the lower order because I haven’t batted too much there. I sort of like the pressure situation going in at three. And I like to finish off games as well. So, it gives me the right platform to do the job for the team, which I like to do,” Kohli said.
Kohli crossed the 50-run mark for the first time in more than six months during the third ODI against England. The Delhi dasher said lean run was inevitable. “There is always a balance in international cricket where you will get a phase where you won’t score in four-five games and you’ve just got to keep yourself calm at that point of time because you know it is going to happen at some point or the other.
“You can’t keep scoring in every game for a period of over 16 months to 18 months; so I was pretty calm at that point of time. For me, it is all about working hard in the nets regularly and just staying calm and staying patient. If you get frustrated, you sort of tend to increase that kind of lean phase that you are going through. You got to be positive, which I was and I am glad I was able to come out with that knock in the last game,” Kohli signed off.