From Virat Kohli to Tamim Iqbal: Top Five Batting Performances at Dharamsala
Virat Kohli struck his 20th ODI ton at Dharamshala [Source: Twitter]
In what is easily one of the most picturesque stadiums in the world, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala has enthralled not only fans by players alike with its beauty and grandeur. A relatively newer cricketing venue in India, Dharamsala first hosted an international match in 2013, and since then has been a common feature on India's playing itinerary.
However, the first match played here was between Punjab Kings (PBKS) and the Deccan Chargers (now-defunct) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2010. Batters have mainly enjoyed playing at Dharamsala, where the track offers consistent bounce and carry, making it a paradise for batsmen.
In this list, we look at the top five batting performances witnessed at the scenic HPCA Stadium situated in the backdrop of the Himalayas.
Virat Kohli [Source: Twitter]
With the ODI series on the line, Virat Kohli produced an absolute masterclass against an in-form West Indies attack in 2014. Under pressure to score runs, Kohli started off slowly and took his time with others around him doing the scoring.
However, once set the former India skipper launched an attack on the bowlers, and struck as many as 13 fours and three sixes, en route to his 20th ODI hundred, which helped India put on a mammoth 331.
Despite Marlon Samuels' 112, West Indies lost the match and the series 2-1.
Rohit Sharma [Source: Twitter]
In the first T20I of the 2015 series, Rohit Sharma made his intentions clear from the get-go. Riding high on confidence, the Mumbai-born ran riot on the South African attack at Dharamshala, which consisted of some of the best bowlers.
Sharma registered his maiden T20I hundred in just 62 balls, which included 12 fours and five towering sixes, helping MS Dhoni-led India to 199.
India went on to lose the match by 7 wickets.
Steve Smith [Source: Twitter]
In the only Test, that took place in 2017, Australia's skipper Steve Smith exhibited a tutorial in batting. With wickets tumbling around, Smith displayed resolute, determination and exceptional patience against an in-form spin attack, on tough conditions.
Smith scored 111 of 173 balls in the first innings, where other batters failed to put the bat on the ball, he managed to hit 14 fours as well.
Ravindra Jadeja's all-round show helped India win the Test, and the series 2-1.
Adam Gilchrist [Source: Twitter]
Known for belligerent hitting, Adam Gilchrist showcased his best, leading Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) in his first season with the franchise in 2011. Gilchrist pounded on an inexperienced Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bowling attack and raced towards his second Indian Premier League (IPL) hundred; also the only at Dharamsala.
The dashing wicket-keeper took just 53 balls for his ton, which included eight fours and nine sixes. His 122m six off Charl Langeveldt remains one the longest six in the tournament to date.
Punjab ended up winning the match comfortably.
Tamim Iqbal [Source: Twitter]
One of the modern-day greats, Tamim Iqbal showcased maturity in his batting moving away from his traits of reckless hitting and paced his inning to perfection against Oman in ICC T20 World Cup 2016.
Iqbal reached his maiden T20I century 60 balls (also the first for Bangladesh in T20Is), that was laced with 10 fours and five sixes.
Bangladesh won the encounter by DLS method after rain intervened.