It's unclear whether Dhoni will be able to make an appearance during the match as he is currently captaining his state side Jharkand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, a domestic 50 overs competition. 

Jharkand may well make the finals being played in Delhi at the weekend and the Test could be over by the time the Trophy ends and Dhoni is able to return.

Whether he will be able to attend in time is dependent, as usual, on what the Ranchi pitch provides. As is normal before many Test matches and nearly always on the sub-continent it is already one of the key talking points leading up to the toss.

Just as in Pune for the first Test, preparing a wicket for a five day Test is something new for the local curator SB Singh. This time, however, there has been no sign of the BCCI pitch curator Daljit Singh whose input into the preparation of the Pune pitch received many scathing remarks especially after it was reported to the ICC of being of "poor quality" – something that the BCCI have since rejected.

Steve Smith was expecting it to be a very dry surface having inspected the wicket the day before the Test: "The groundsman was pretty keen to get those covers back on pretty quickly so it didn't see much sun.

"I think the first day it'll probably hold together reasonably well and then start to break up from there. I don't think there'll be a great deal of bounce.

"I think it will shoot quite low and then from there I think it'll break up as the game wears on."

With the four match series locked at one win each after the first two Tests, there is plenty to play for. The captains, however, have been distracted over the last few days with other matters.

There was still an air of disagreement over the Smith dismissal during the second innings of the second Test in Bangalore when he asked the dressing room for help over a review that had gone against him.

At the time, Smith had said that he'd simply had a "brain fade". India's captain, Virat Kohli, saw things differently and accused the Australians of persistently using the method to aid them with reviews.

Smith still appeared to be upset over his opposite number's comments: "In regards to saying that we do it consistently, that's complete rubbish in my opinion so I think he was wrong in his statement."

Each captain had been summoned to see the match referee Richie Richardson and the umpires, with Smith explaining what was discussed: "What they said was that 'we want to see cricket as the winner in this Test match. Both teams to play within the rules of the game'."

They will face Richardson together again in the morning before the Test begins for one, final reminder of their responsibilities.

Despite these commitments both captains are trying to move their focus on to the Ranchi Test. Although he stood by what he said Kohli was certain that it wasn't where his attention lies,

"We have cricket to play and two Test matches to play," he said. "That's what we need to focus on. I think it was a mature decision on everyone's part to move on from that.

"It's in the best interest of everyone to move on and focus on the game."

Both captains have plenty to think about apart from the behaviour of themselves and their team mates. Australia have been hit by injuries with both Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh having to return home with injuries.

Their replacements, Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis have only just joined the group. Two places have to be filled but there are other options amongst the original squad too. Australia could play Glen Maxwell or Ashton Agar as a third spinner and Jackson Bird is waiting in the wings to fill Starc's place.

India have to make a decision over their opening partnership. Murali Vijay missed the Bangalore Test with a shoulder injury. If he's fit then Abhinav Mukund, his replacement in that match, is likely to miss out having scored just 16 runs in the Test.

This fascinating, event filled series is poised. India have seized the momentum from Australia with their come from behind win in the second Test in Bangalore. The visitors, though, know that they are still only one more success away from holding on to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

It's all to be played for leading into the Ranchi Test which is certain to bring up plenty more talking points.