What’s the story?
Indian captain Virat Kohli skipped the nets session even as the Indian team hit the ground running on Thursday in Dharamsala.
Kohli who injured his right shoulder in Ranchi was present with the team for the entire session and even took few throwdowns but did not quite enter the nets in a bid to be careful before the series decider commences in Dharamsala on Saturday.
The Indian team went through the drills under the watchful eyes of their coach Anil Kumble and according to sources present at the ground, the intensity levels were quite high as the hosts brace for the Australian challenge for the fourth and final Test match.
The team reached the picturesque location on Tuesday and after a rest day on Wednesday it was back to business for them. Apart from Kohli, off-spinner R Ashwin bowled few overs and the Indian batting nucleus in Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were in their elements in the nets.
According to the pitch curator, the pitch in Dharamsala could assist the seamers and this could well put the focus back on Rahane and Pujara in the middle order considering the fact that their captain in not in the best of forms.
Pujara is the man in form for the hosts and now they would ideally want Ajinkya Rahane to buckle down and score big runs bu not throwing away starts.
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The 4-match series is locked at 1-1 and the Border-Gavaskar series is on the line come the fourth and final Test match in Dharamsala.
The visitors would be buoyed by the fact that they managed to hold on to a draw in the 3rd Test in Ranchi when the stocks were heavily against them and this should hold them in great shape in the fourth Test match.
India, on the other hand, have finally found some momentum but would still be ruing the fact that they could not force a result in Ranchi.
There have been plenty written and said in and around this series, so much so that the action in the centre has taken a back seat.
Hence, when the final Test begins in Dharamsala all eyes will be on both captains and here is where Virat Kohli needs to step up and finally make some runs to mute all his doubters. Also, his shoulder will be under scrutiny and how it responds to the pressures in the decider.
This is not the first time Virat Kohli has been subject to extreme pressure and although the lack of runs is not an entirely a cozy situation for him to be in, one can always be convinced of the fact that the hard-worker in the Indian captain will find ways and means to battle it out and be back amidst runs.
The clincher in Dharamsala is as big as it could get and hence taking precautions during the net session seems to be a wise decision. He remains the lynchpin of the Indian batting and a fit and firing Kohli can do wonders for the hosts.