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IND vs ENG: Low-scoring Ranji matches signal pacers could rule the roost in Dharamshala

IND vs ENG: Low-scoring Ranji matches signal pacers could rule the roost in Dharamshala

IND vs ENG: At Dharamshala, in this year's Ranji Trophy matches, only 11 wickets have fallen to spinners.

“It’s a used pitch from Ranji Trophy last month..let’s see. Ground staff have done an amazing job with the pitch considering the weather we have had here.” England batsman Jonny Bairstow revealed on Tuesday, that for the fifth Test in Dharamshala, a used pitch from the Ranji Trophy matches last month, might be played.

If at all that happens, it could just be an indicator, as to how the pitch will play for the upcoming final IND vs ENG Test. Having won the series already 3-1, there are indications, that it will be a pace-friendly pitch, with not a lot of runs in it. Of course, it is beyond difficult to predict the true nature of the pitch, but at least the four Ranji Trophy matches played here this year, suggest so.

Himachal Pradesh vs Uttarakhand (Jan 12)

The first Ranji Trophy match at the Dharamshala Stadium was played almost two months back, where neighbours Uttarakhand beat HP by 88 runs. In the first innings, UTK were dismissed for 238, with Aditya Tare scoring a ton. In reply, HP managed to get a lead by scoring 271 runs. But come the second innings, somehow UTK managed to set a target of 194, and the opposition was bundled out for 106.

Importantly, in the 40 wickets that fell in the match, 39 were to pacers of medium pacers, and just went to spinner Swapnil Singh.

Himachal Pradesh vs Baroda (Jan 19)

The following week, HP played against Baroda, and once again lost, this time by an innings an 18 runs. Only Shashwat Rawat (207) and Shivalik Sharma (188), got runs with the bat, while others, across the two teams, didn’t score much. In the first innings, Baroda managed 482, while HP was bundled out twice, on 184, and 280, respectively.

Once again, out of the 30 wickets that fell in the match, 25 were bagged by pacers and medium pacers.

Himachal Pradesh vs Madhya Pradesh (Feb 2)

In this drawn match between the two sides, batsmen were once again on the receiving end. HP first were bundled out for 169, with MP replying with a 217. Due to inclement weather, the match ended with HP scoring 42/5 in the second. Only three fifties were scored in four days — by Rishi Dhawan, Venkatesh Iyer, and Rishabh Chouhan.

In this match, from the 25 wickets that fell in the match, 21 were bagged by pacers, three were out to spinners, and one was run out,

Himachal Pradesh vs Delhi (Feb 9)

Once again hosts HP lost, and once again, the batsmen had poor returns in the match. After scoring 264 in the first innings, Delhi bundled out HP for 319 runs. In an improved batting performance, Delhi scored 381, and then cleaned up the opposition for 250, to win the match by 76 runs.

And once again, pacers ruled the roost. Out of the 36 wickets that fell in the match, only two were out to spinners.

So, if at all, history of this venue is to go by, Team India, for that matter England as well, shouldn’t pin too much hopes on spinners, and field and extra fast bowling option in the team.

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