Kohli has elements of Ponting and mine: Steve Waugh

With India's regular skipper Virat Kohli's participation in the deciding final cricket Test still under the cloud following a shoulder injury, Australia skipper Steve Smith on Friday backed vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's abilities to lead the hosts in the crucial game, starting on Saturday.

Uncapped Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has joined as cover for Kohli, who has struggled against the touring Australian side, managing 46 runs in five innings after registering a double century in each of the preceding four series.

"Obviously if I am 100 per cent fit, is the only condition on which I will take the field".

"I think they'd be fine [without Kohli]", Smith said.

"I have to accept that fact and try to get 100 per cent fit for the game". "The rules apply to everyone and they are the same for everyone".

Kohli had suffered a serious right shoulder injury during the Ranchi Test in which he played through pain.

India's captain, and the heart and soul of the team, Virat Kohli, is a serious doubt for this match.

"I wouldn't say it is a normal feeling [in the shoulder]", he said.

Sections of Australia media have repeatedly attacked Kohli, most recently calling him the "Donald Trump of the sporting world". With a bandage on his right shoulder and bicep region, Kohli took part in the customary warm-up.

"Me playing or not playing shouldn't make that much of a difference to the other 10 guys because they have a responsibility to fulfil as well". For me, it was about us trying to find ways to play the way we need to play out here. I've not done anything special so far but still the guys have fought it out.

"I think a lot of the pressure is on the Indian side". I have some routines once the match finishes. "For a guy who's never been here before it's nearly a different game when you get out to the middle and you see guys around the bat and crusty wicket, things like that, and that can get to players, players who have played for a long period of time".

Kohli said that the injury hampered his normal range of movement, and he has some problems while fielding and not certainly during the batting time. But India bounced back well in the second Test at Bengaluru by 75 runs to level the series at 1-1.

"It's good news. He's a talented player with a lot of potential".

But he knows Australia will have no hesitation testing out his injury, especially if the Dharamsala pitch offers as much pace and bounce as the curator is predicting. "It is just one game but he definitely looks like a good player for future", the skipper said. Glenn Maxwell on his return to test cricket scored 104, which helped Australia put on a good score on the board.

  • Julie Sanders