India's need to find a way to manoeuvre out of a nightmare situation, after their skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out of the fourth Test match against Australia on Saturday.
With Kohli insisting he would take the field only if he was passed 100 per cent fit, tests on Friday evening and Saturday morning have revealed that the captain's shoulder injury hasn't healed enough for him to play a part in this five-day match in Dharamsala.
"The rule is you can only play if you are fully fit and hats off to Kohli, he decided to opt out, because he isn't 100 per cent fit," India's captain Ajinkya Rahane said at the toss.
"Unfortunately, as Kohli said, he would only take the field if he were 100 per cent fit, and he hasn't been able to recover," India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar told Star Sports a little before the toss.
As ineffective as Kohli has been with the bat in this Test series, if there ever was one player the Aussies would have preferred not to have to deal with, it would have been Kohli. And now, that is the case, with Rahane set to captain the team in this series-deciding match, becoming India's 33rd Test skipper.
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Kohli, whose run of 54 consecutive Tests ended, was replaced in the playing XI by Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm chinaman, who makes his Test match debut.
The series is currently tied up at 1-1, with this one final game to play.
Kohli injured his right shoulder on day one of the third Test in Ranchi, after landing heavily while trying to prevent a boundary. The skipper did not take the field for the rest of that day and the one after.
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Scans, however, revealed there was no major damage, with Kohli even coming out to bat. The skipper also took to the field on the final day as India tried to bowl Australia out. Kohli, though, mainly stayed in the slips, while making sure he did not use that right shoulder of his.
After the third Test ended in a draw, it was always going to be a race against time for Kohli to get fit for the final Test. Despite not batting on Thursday, the feeling was Kohli would somehow find a way to play this Test match, but after admitting he would only do so if he was a 100 per cent, it looks like there just wasn't enough time for the physio Patrick Farhart to work his magic.
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