Smith wins toss, Australia to bat in decisive fourth Test

After sustaining the injury on day one in the third Test in Ranchi, Kohli had made it clear that he will not play the Dharamsala Test if he was not "100 per cent" fit.

Sports historian and journalist Boria Majumdar said Pujara, who's been overlooked by IPL franchises for three consecutive seasons now, is part of "a (dying) breed of Test match players" who need to be "protected" by the Indian cricket board.

Kohli, who is nursing a shoulder injury, which he sustained during the previous Test in Ranchi, could not pass the fitness Test head of the game today at HPCA Stadium. We will just try and focus on things which want to focus on rather than worrying about how the wicket will play. "Kapil bowled with pain killers and he took five wickets and the rest was history", said Gavaskar.

"As I said, it's an exciting time for this team. So, the Indian team management will have to decide on Virat's case also", he added. "If it's selling their news, good luck to them", Kohli said without referring to a section of Australian media and former players, who have been relentlessly critical of him.

"I would say no team has the edge, there is not much gap between the two sides".

Responding to a question about the impact of Kohli's absence on India, Smith said, "I think (India) would be fine. But the way the Indians have responded, they will come out all guns firing in Dharamsala". "We will have to step up here", said Rahane.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaces Ishant Sharma in India's only other adjustment. He didn't train on Thursday, and on Friday, 24 hours before the game, he only took batted against light throw-downs, indicating he could be missing his first test for India since November 2011.

"A fresh pair of legs in Shami can give the initial breakthroughs and that will make it easier for R Ashwin and Jadeja as well as the other pacers at the other end in the old combination of five batsmen and five bowlers".

  • Julie Sanders