What’s the story?
Australian captain Steve Smith has once again taken a dig at his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli during the pre-match post-conference when he said that the Indian team would do just fine under Ajinkya Rahane if Kohli does not make it to the starting XI.
“Rahane did a great job as captain in Virat’s absence in Ranchi. He is a bit more chilled out than Kohli and is not that emotional. He understands the game well. If Virat misses this match, the Indian side will still be in very good hands,” Smith said.
This statement comes even as Kohli is racing against time to regain fitness ahead of the fourth Test. The captain himself did not express too much hope during his presser when he said that he would play only when his fitness is a 100%.
Smith also spoke about the pitch and conceded that he is not entirely too sure about the nature of the pitch and that his reading of any surface is not perfect at most times.
“I am not good at assessing wickets. There is some grass and it looks dry underneath. It will take a reasonable amount of spin as the game progresses. It will be important to post a big total on this pitch,” Smith said.
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Virat Kohli injured his right shoulder during the Ranchi Test and although he did bat and field, he has not attained match fitness. Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has already been drafted into the side as a cover for the skipper and if reports and different statements are to be believed he could make his Test debut in Dharamsala.
Ajinkya Rahane captained the team during most of the first innings in Ranchi and looked convincing at the helm and this would give the Indian team going into the decider.
Shreyas Iyer has been in decent form and even scored a double century against Australia in the warm-up match and was the man in form during the Ranji season. He could walk in at number 4.
Also, Rahane would have the opportunity to impose his ideas on the team right on the outset which bodes well for the morale of the team.
If Virat Kohli does not make it into the playing XI, it would disturb the balance of the team to a great extent and although he has not been amongst the runs in the recent series he can never be counted out. Also, the current team responds beautifully to their skipper and for hence Rahane at the helm would be a different kettle of fish for the hosts.
However, with the series on the line, there is the perfect driving force for both teams and hopefully one witnesses a befitting finale!