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No cover sought for MS as skipper enjoys soccer session

Indian team management has not yet sought a cover for skipper MS Dhoni, who sustained a thumb injury before the fourth ODI against England at Mohali, increasing the possibility of his playing in the final match on Sunday.

In fact, the Indian skipper was seen actively participating in a soccer session at the picturesque stadium here dispelling doubts about his participation in the final one-dayer. While the English team took a break from their training session, a relaxed Indian side enjoyed their soccer session in the afternoon. Dhoni has sustained injuries in the past during the training sessions but has shown enough grit to come out and lead the side admirably.

There were doubts about the Indian captain's participation in the third one-dayer against Pakistan in New Delhi earlier this month and Dinesh Karthik was flown in as a cover. However, the skipper not only led the side but was also awarded man-of-the-match for his captaincy.

It was after a long time that the Indian players looked a happy bunch while playing their customary football match unlike some of the other times when it looked as if they are going through a routine drill. On the cricketing front, the pitch is expected to help the batsmen and with the sun beating down, it can become conducive for strokeplay.


DHARAMSALA FESTIVE AHEAD OF ODI


The atmosphere in Dharamsala is nothing short of festive as the hill town gears up to host its first ever international cricket match with India taking on England in the inconsequential fifth and final ODI of a series that has been pocketed by the home nation. The English fans have started arriving through charted flights and luxury vehicles. BCCI officials are also gathering here for the closing ceremony of the series. All 67 MLAs of the state are coming to witness the game where chief minister Vir Bhadra Singh shall be the chief guest. With the match falling on a Sunday, lot of tourists are coming in from the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The host of the show, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) admitted that the spectators might face problems in getting suitable accommodation. The town has 56 registered hotels and guest houses with a bed capacity of 1,100. McLeodganj, 8km from Dharamsala, has around 91 registered hotels which can accommodate 2,000 people. In addition to this, a dozen government guest houses are also there. Beside accommodation, the administration is worried about parking for the vehicles. But there is no problem for the players and officials as the Pavilion residential complex is almost ready for them. It has 32 huts made of imported wood. The Pavilion is some 3-km from the ground.
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