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Who is the only Indian batter to score an ODI century in Dharamsala?

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India and New Zealand will lock horns at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Sunday, October 22, in Match 21 of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

This will be the fourth game played at the venue, which has produced a decent number of runs despite the pitch showing true bounce and movement for the seamers. The outfield, however, has come under the scanner, with a good chunk of the turf coming out a number of times a fielder has put in a slide.

India’s ODI record at the HPCA Stadium isn’t the greatest, with the Men in Blue winning two of the four games they have played at the venue. In fact, the last time they played an ODI in Dharamsala, they were reduced to 29/7 against Sri Lanka, who went on to win rather comfortably.

It’s no surprise then, that only one batter has scored an ODI century in Dharamsala. The name also doesn’t come as a surprise – Virat Kohli.

This dates back to the five-match series between India and West Indies in 2014, which was eventually curtailed to a four-match series after the visitors withdrew from their tour owing to a pay dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies).

The series was level at 1-1, with the third match in Visakhapatnam rained out. West Indian skipper Dwayne Bravo elected to field first upon winning the toss but it backfired as Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan forged a 70-run opening partnership for the hosts.

Kohli then took charge and stroked his way to a seamless 127 off 114 deliveries, a knock studded with 13 fours and three sixes. It marked his 20th ODI century and came at an important time as he had endured a torrid tour of England not too long before.

Having stitched together a 72-run stand with Rahane, who scored 68, Kohli combined forces with Suresh Raina to power India’s charge as a third-wicket partnership of 138 followed. India lost three quick wickets at the death, but Kohli ensured he was there until the end. He was run out off the last ball as he took the hosts to 330/6.

Despite Marlon Samuels’ century, a collective bowling effort headlined by economical spells from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Axar Patel saw India bowl the West Indies out for 271. A 2-1 lead eventually ended as a series victory in favor of the Men in Blue, and Kohli walked away with the Player of the Match honors.

Virat Kohli averages 106 in ODIs in Dharamsala

In three ODI outings in Dharamsala, Kohli has tallied 212 runs and is the leading run-scorer in the format at the venue. He averages 106.00, with one century and a half-century, and will hold the aces once again when India face New Zealand in the 2023 World Cup on Sunday.

It’s important he steps up, with the hosts not having the services of all-rounder Hardik Pandya to turn to. One of Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan is expected to replace Pandya in the playing XI, while the option of Ravichandran Ashwin cannot be ruled out either.

As mentioned earlier, New Zealand and India are the only two unbeaten teams thus far at the 2023 World Cup, with eight points each.

Will Virat Kohli light up Dharamsala with another century in India’s 2023 World Cup clash against New Zealand? Have your say in the comments section below!

Poll : Will Virat Kohli score his 49th ODI century against New Zealand on Sunday?

23 votes

Edited by Sai Krishna

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