India may be forced to play the series decider against Australia without their skipper. ‘May’ still because the home team are holding their cards very close as far as the fitness of Virat Kohli is concerned.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Virat refused to give any update on the condition of his injured shoulder, saying "(We will) take a call later tonight or tomorrow" when questioned on his availability for the fixture.
Virat Kohli, Captain-IndiaWhen we put these things in place(rules regarding match fitness), I said I am not different from anyone. The same process applies for me as it does for all other members of the team. There is no special treatment for anyone. If I am 100 percent fit for the game, only then will I take the field. The rules apply for everyone and they are same for everyone.
Virat had injured his shoulder while diving to save a boundary on the first day of the Ranchi Test. He was off the field during most of Australia's first innings in the drawn game.
Before appearing at the press conference though, Virat did take a few throwdowns at the team’s practise session. He however, did not participate in a full-length nets batting session.
The series is tied at 1-1 with the Border-Gavaskar trophy on the line in Dharamsala.
Uncapped batsman Shreyas Iyer has been called as a standby for Virat and arrived in the Himalayan state earlier this morning. The 22-year-old was Mumbai's highest scoring batsman in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy and smashed 202 in a first-class match for India A against Australia last month.