Australia v India: Ravi Shastri defends ‘absolute gentleman’ Virat Kohli

Australia v India: Ravi Shastri defends ‘absolute gentleman’ Virat Kohli

And he fielded for a major part of the two Australian innings as well, thus posing questions about Indian team's injury management programme.

"He still felt stiff in the shoulder when he came here and he was injected again, and it takes time to settle". But the 27-year-old is an unknown commodity in Australian conditions and drafting him into the side straightaway is a huge risk that India will have to take.

When asked if the new role is unfair on Vihari, who has only played two Tests so far, and doesn't regularly open in domestic first-class cricket, Prasad said: "He would be given a fair chance in the middle order should he fail to make an impression as an opener in the next two Tests".

The case went from nothing to become a molehill in no time; so much so that the BCCI had to step in and issue a clarifying statement about Ravindra Jadeja's statement. "Coming here at 1-1 is really good as we expected that Australia will bounce back in Perth", he said. Last thing you want is someone breaking down after 5-10 overs and then we would be stuck for players to pick for Melbourne and Sydney. "If he is 80% here, he will play, that's the answer". "So there is no question of him being unfit at the time of selection", he said.

"Fitness (is the biggest concern)". We will evaluate Ashwin over the next 48 hours.

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"We have called in Mayank Agarwal and he is in good form after that India-A series, so naturally he gets into the side. In many ways, it can inspire a team to come together and let us hope it does", the coach said.

Shastri however didn't want to divulge if Pandya will come into the playing XI as he has played only one first-class match (against Mumbai) after his comeback. So those are you bottom five. But coach Ravi Shastri did mention that Pandya has played just one first-class game after returning from injury and they will have to be careful. "The way India play this series and go about their cricket, it's up to them", he added. India's decision to select Umesh Yadav as a fourth quick to replace injured spinner Ravichandran Ashwin backfired badly when man of the match Nathan Lyon claimed eight wickets for the match to spin Australia to victory.

"Not necessarily. I think it's more about wearing their bowlers down and keeping them out there in the field for as long as possible", he said. Mayank Agarwal, who was named as Prithvi Shaw's replacement after the latter was ruled out with an ankle injury, has been named in the playing XI and will be making his global debut in the test match.

While Mayank Agarwal has been rewarded for his consistent show at the India A level, Prasad admitted that one needs to ponder on future of Rahul and Vijay after their consistent failures over the past one year.

The Boxing Day Test will possibly decide the fate of the series which is now level at 1-1. The series will shift to Sydney for the finale beginning on January 3.

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