Sat, Mar 25, 10:34am by Senior Writer
The likelihood that Indian captain Virat Kohli will miss the decisive fourth and final Test between India and Australia in Dharamsala, starting Saturday has seen Australia’s odds on victory slashed.
Earlier in the week, the Aussies were $3.75 to win the Test and claim their first series win on Indian soil since 2004, but as the probability of Kohli taking the field in the match slips, Australia’s prospects grow and they are now $3.20 to win the match.
The odds on a draw in the match, which would be enough for Australia to retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy, have shortened from $4 to $3.75 over the past two days.
Kohli may have scored just 46 runs for the series, but the supremely talented skipper’s leadership is a considerable asset for India, who have drifted from $1.85 out to $2.10 on the news that Kohli will likely miss with his injured shoulder.
While he has had limited impact with the bat, Kohli’s aggressive captaincy in the field has taken the challenge to the Aussies, and stirred up the already strong rivalry between the two leading Test nations in the world.
Dharamsala, like Pune and Ranchi earlier in the series, has never hosted a Test before and there is contention of how exactly the pitch will play. It looks green, but should facilitate better bounce, which should help both the Australian bowlers and batsmen.
However, there was a broad expectation that the Ranchi pitch would crumble into dust, but it held up very well for the batsmen, allowing India to bat for two and half days in their first innings in a match which Australia ended up needing to save despite making 450 in the first innings.
The Indian high-bat market for the first innings would change significantly if Kohli doesn’t play aas he is still a $3.25 favourite.
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