Aussies not fooled by the rocks that we got

Virat Kohli says India's spinners were negated by the SG ball, which quickly lost its hardness on the final-day Ranchi pitch

India captain Virat Kohli has made it clear he is unhappy with how quickly the SG balls went soft in the third Test.

Kohli's side appeared perfectly placed to push for a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series on day five in Ranchi but they met spirited resistance and couldn't conjure wickets with the old ball.

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Many pundits suggested the pitch assisted Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh, but Kohli was more worried about the ball.

The skipper repeatedly spoke with umpires and tried to get the ball changed. It was a common theme during the match, in scenes reminiscent of a drawn Test with Australia at the WACA in 2015.

Kohli complained about the quality of the balls in the post-match ceremony then again in his press conference.

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"I don't think it was the wicket, it was the ball. Soft, not doing much," Kohli told reporters.

"The hardness of the ball was a big factor. When the ball was new last night, it spun well off the rough. Even this morning, it was spinning well.

"In the middle session the ball was not hard, so we could not generate that kind of pace from the wicket.

"But I don't want to take any credit away from their effort. They batted very well."

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Australia captain Steve Smith had no complaints.

"I haven't really thought about it," he said. "We both use the same ball, you just got to do what you can with it."

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Smith admitted he was surprised by how well the pitch played throughout the contest.

"I didn't expect the game to go five days, certainly before a ball was bowled it didn't look like it would hold together at all," he said.

"Credit to the groundsman, the wicket held together beautifully. He said it would last five days and he was correct. It was a really nice wicket."

Test Squads

India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.

Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade

Australia's schedule in India

Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune - Australia won by 333 runs.

Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru - India won by 75 runs.

Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi

Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala