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England Cricket Team Finds Spiritual Respite In Dalai Lama’s Presence Ahead Of Final Test
By CricShots - Mar 6, 2024 6:42 pm
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The England cricket contingent took a meaningful detour from their rigorous training regime ahead of the fifth Test match in Dharamsala. Six England players, including Gus Atkinson, Jonathan Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Tom Hartley, Dan Lawrence, and Ollie Pope, had the unique opportunity to meet His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at his residence in McLeod Ganj on March 6, 2024.

England team
England team

While the English side has already lost the series against the formidable Indian team, they aim to salvage some pride in the final match. Despite a commendable effort, especially highlighted by Ollie Pope’s splendid innings of 196 runs in the series opener at Hyderabad, Ben Stokes’s team fell short at critical junctures.

In contrast, Rohit Sharma’s Indian squad demonstrated remarkable resilience, clinching victories in the subsequent three Tests and sealing the series victory, extending their unbeaten home series streak since 2012.

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The upcoming Test in Dharamsala holds significance for two players – Ravichandran Ashwin and Jonny Bairstow – both marking their 100th Test appearance. Ashwin, a linchpin in India’s Test success, recently achieved the remarkable milestone of 500 Test wickets, solidifying his place among cricketing legends. On the other hand, Bairstow, who has faced scrutiny for his performance in the series, aims to conclude on a high note and silence any doubts about his place in the team.

In terms of team selection, England has made a solitary change, opting for the pace of Mark Wood over Ollie Robinson, who suffered a back strain during the previous Test. The decision to retain two spinners, Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley, underscores the team’s strategy for the Dharamsala conditions.

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As England prepares for the final showdown in Dharamsala, the visit to the Dalai Lama serves as a poignant reminder of the broader significance beyond the cricket field, encapsulating moments of introspection and spiritual connection amidst the intensity of Test cricket.

England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir.