India v England: What is the weather forecast for fifth Test in Dharamsala?

Veteran seamer James Anderson goes into game just two away from 700 Test wickets

The picturesque HPCS Stadium in Dharamsala will host the fifth and final Test between India and England starting on Thursday. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

The five-Test series between India and England has already been decided, with the hosts taking an unassailable 3-1 lead after a titanic battle in the fourth Test in Ranchi.

However, that does not mean there is nothing to fight for in the final match of the series that begins in Dharamsala, at the foot of the Himalayas, from Thursday.

Firstly, a 3-2 series result would look vastly different from 4-1. English – and many Indian – fans believe a 3-2 verdict would be fair final result in a series that has seen some incredible performances from both sides, with youngsters in particular rising to the occasion in the absence of senior players and poor form from the more established names.

Also, both sides need to plan for the long term and test which players can be part of the journey going forward.

For England, the form of Jonny Bairstow is particularly concerning, with the middle-order batsman scoring a measly 170 runs in eight outings. That is only a little better than spinner Tom Hartley has managed. Also, Ollie Pope's bat has gone silent after a stellar 196 in the first Test, returning a pair in Ranchi.

The Indians, meanwhile, will be considering the long-term future of Rajat Patidar, who has looked like a walking wicket the entire series and should consider himself lucky if he gets another chance. But given the continued unavailability of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, the Indian team have limited options in the middle order and might not want to hand out another Test debut in the series.

And if players found the challenges in the first four Tests too much to handle, things are going to get extremely difficult in the finale.

Weather in Dharamsala

The forecast for the next 10 days in the northern Indian city is far from ideal for a Test in the subcontinent. It is still winter time in some parts of north India, especially closer to the hills.

Temperatures in Dharamsala are not expected to go above 15º Celsius at any point, with the minimum likely to be in the low single digits. The Indian meteorological department has forecast rain this week up until the first day of the Test on Thursday.

The BBC's weather prediction is a lot more dire, with the maximum temperature forecast to be in single digits and lowest close to freezing point.

Fast bowlers rejoice

With such weather forecast, fast bowlers should expect near-perfect conditions throughout the Test, at a venue that was anyhow known to help the quicks.

James Anderson and Mark Wood should be raring to go and bowl long spells without worrying about getting tired. India, too, will be happy if the ball moves around, since returning pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj can wreak havoc in such conditions.

Anderson could not have asked for a better stage for what should be a momentous occasion. The veteran seamer, 41, is just two away from joining the 700 Test wickets club. With around 5,000 England supporters expected to turn up at one of the most picturesque venues in cricket, Anderson should back himself to finish the series on a high, provided he recovers in time from a minor quad injury.

India are likely to go with two pacers, while England might consider bolstering their pace attack and having just one frontline slow bowler, as Joe Root has proven to be an excellent off-spinner.


Anderson is not the only player looking forward to the fifth Test. Both Bairstow and India spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin are on 99 Tests and at least one is guaranteed to feature in the final match.

Bairstow would also want to play his 100th Test at the scenic venue that is likely to be where Anderson creates history by becoming only the third bowler, and first pacer, to 700 scalps.

Updated: March 04, 2024, 12:08 PM