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India vs Australia 2017: 5 batsmen who could replace Virat Kohli for the fourth Test

With the series tied at 1-1, Virat Kohli's absence is set to hurt India but here are five batsmen who could replace him in the final Test.

Top 5 / Top 10 17 Mar 2017, 11:24 IST
Replacing Virat Kohli will be a tough ask

The Indian cricket team has been dealt a huge blow with the unfortunate injury of skipper Virat Kohli on the first day of the third Test match. The early reports have suggested that the stalwart could be ruled out for the fourth and final Test match against Australia after suffering a grade 1 ligament tear.

The incident during the second session of the Day’s play when Kohli chased down the ball and then dived to prevent a boundary. However, his shoulder landed awkwardly and jammed in the process. Now, with the series tied at 1-1 and Australia already in cruise control in the third Test, India is in a spot of bother.

However, the country does have a huge pool of talent, especially in the batting front. This might be an opportunity for one of fringe players to shine and possibly book a place in the line-up.

Here, we take a look at five possible replacements for Virat Kohli.

#5 Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant was outstanding in the Ranji Trophy

Rishabh Pant has been knocking on the doors of the Indian team for the last few months. He bursting onto the scene with impressive performances at the U-19 World Cup in 2016 and then followed it up with a spectacular domestic season.

The Delhi-boy was in stellar form throughout the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy where he scored four centuries. He broke records left, right and centre when he scored a triple century against Maharashtra and hit a 48-ball hundred against Jharkhand. The Indian national team call-up came soon afterwards and so did his international debut in a T20I against England.

The youngster had a slow start in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but rediscovered his form in Delhi’s final group match to score 99 from only 72 deliveries. One of the top performers of the domestic scene, Pant is a top contender to replace Kohli in the Test team.

The attacking batsman can play as an opener or even bat in the middle-order in Kohli’s position. He is a good player of both pace and spin but will have to fight his teeth out to perform well (if given the chance) in a series which has not been very forgiving to the batsmen.

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