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India vs Australia: It's win or bust in cool Dharamsala


Contrary to general belief that had brushed aside Australia's challenge even before they landed in India, Steve Smith's men have fought the hosts tooth and nail, ensuring that the final Test in Dharamsala, starting March 25, will decide the ultimate victor.

The India captain hurt his shoulder during the third Test in Ranchi and was out of play for more than a day but managed to uphold his duties with the bat and in the field for the last day of play.

"The physio wants to give it a bit more time till I can test myself and we'll probably take a call on it later tonight or tomorrow before the game", the Delhi player told reporters.

Australia captain Steve Smith on Friday dropped a bombshell on the eve of the series decider in Dharamsala by claiming that Ajinkya Rahane is a better leader than Virat Kohli.

Earlier, the national team management had called up young Mumbai top-order batsman Shreyas Iyer as cover for Kohli. I think Ajinkya Rahane will probably step up to captain their side.

"I think they'll be fine".

The 28-year-old sustained the right shoulder injury while putting in a dive on the first day of the drawn third Test in Ranchi.


Smith and Kohli have been at loggerheads since the Indian skipper accused his opposite number of systematically abusing the Decision Review System (DRS) during the second Test in Bangalore. The Australian media usually plays as an extension of their cricket team's support staff, often covering up team's inadequacies.

With Kohli racing against the clock to be fit for perhaps the biggest Test of his career, Smith expects Rahane to once again fill in as his counterpart.

"Simon Katich sent me an email overnight and said it is great what we guys have done over here so far through the series and asked to continue that here and wished good luck for Dharamsala", Smith said.

"I'm not really bothered if we are the favourites or underdogs to be honest with you", Smith said at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, in India's Himalayan foothills, which hosts its first test match from Saturday.

"It's about focusing on our process and making sure we do those really well".

A draw in the fourth and final test against India would be enough for Smith and his men to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having triumphed at home in the 2014-15 season.

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