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Dharamsala Test: 5 things Virat Kohli’s India need to do to win series

With the India cricket team vs Australia cricket team series level 1-1, the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala assumes massive importance as Virat Kohli will be aiming to win the series against a determined Australian side and continue his magnificent season

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2017 00:23 IST
India vs Australia

India cricket team captain Virat Kolhi had a relaxed training session in Dharamsala on Friday with doubts lingering about the condition of his injured shoulder. (PTI)

The series between India cricket team and Australia cricket team has become a classic. After Australia broke their 13-year losing streak in India by registering a 333-run win in Pune, Virat Kohli’s team bounced back in style with a 75-run in Bangalore. The hard-fought draw in Ranchi has set up a thriller in Dharamsala. Here is what India must do in order to win the series.

Big contribution from Kohli

Provided he is fit for the game on Saturday, India will be hoping that Virat Kohli breaks his run of poor scores. In this series, he has managed scores of 0,13,12,15 and 6.

Read more | Steve Smith hopes for good sleep after meeting the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala

This poor form will hurt Kohli, considering that before this series, he smashed double centuries in four consecutive Test series. A big score from Kohli will boost India’s chances of winning the Test and the series but only if he is 100 percent fit.

Consistency from Ajinkya Rahane

Although he smashed 52 and shared a match-winning stand of 118 with Cheteshwar Pujara in the Bangalore Test, Ajinkya Rahane is yet to scale the heights of consistency which he achieved in 2014 and 2015.

In his last six Tests, he has scored just two fifties. In the Ranchi Test, he played a poor shot and fell for 18. For India, Rahane’s consistency at No.5 will aid the team immensely.

Indian openers firing in tandem

In the current series, the highest opening stand for India was 91 in the Ranchi Test between KL Rahul and Murali Vijay.

Read more | India vs Australia: Jackson Bird may boost Australia pace attack in Dharamsala

This has been their only fifty-plus opening stand in the entire series while Australia have stitched three fifty-plus opening stands. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have to give India a good start if they have to put Australia on the backfoot.

More penetration from Ishant Sharma

Among the Indian pacers, Umesh Yadav has troubled the Australians with pace, conventional swing and reverse swing. However, he has struggled for support at the other end from Ishant Sharma. In three Tests, he has taken three wickets at an average of 69.66. He has not provided breakthroughs on a consistent basis and has failed for penetration.

Dismissing Steve Smith cheaply

In the three Tests , Australia cricket team skipper Steve Smith has been the difference maker. His 109 helped Australia win in Pune while his 178 in Ranchi ensured Australia would on a level-playing ground.

In the only match in which India won in Bangalore, he managed scores of just 8 and 28. For India, it is a simple task. If they take Smith out cheaply, then their chances of running through the Australian batting increases.