Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has been called up to Dharamsala as cover for Virat Kohli, who still hasn't completely recovered from his shoulder injury.
Even as India maintained Iyer is cover - and not a replacement - for Kolhi, ESPNcricinfo understands that the team is sweating over the fitness of the captain, who took a pain-killing injection two days before the Test and didn't bat in the nets.
Iyer is expected to join the team on Friday, the eve of the match. Besides a hundred for India A against the touring Bangladesh side in Hyderabad, Iyer smashed an unbeaten double hundred against Australia in a tour game at Brabourne Stadium last month.
"It made sense to have a back-up batsman because in case of a contingency it is very difficult to reach a place like Dharamsala," a BCCI source told ESPNcricinfo. "We will know more on Virat tomorrow."
Kohli hurt his shoulder while making a diving stop on the boundary on the first day in Ranchi. He spent the rest of Australia's first innings off the field, but batted at his usual No. 4 slot and fielded in the second innings - though at slip even against the spinners rather than his usual station in the covers or midwicket.
Iyer had initially been named in the India Blue squad for the Deodhar Trophy one-day tournament scheduled to also begin on Saturday in Visakhapatnam. He had a breakout first-class season in 2015-16 where he scored 1321 run to become the leading scorer in the Ranji Trophy. He finished as Mumbai's highest run-getter (725 runs at 42.94, including two hundreds) in Ranji Trophy 2016-17, when they finished runners-up.
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun