SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 27: The crowd cheer during game one of the One Day International series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The schedule of Australia's tour of India may be forced into an eleventh-hour change as Dharamsala's Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium is yet to be declared fit less than three weeks out from the scheduled start of the third Test.

Originally slated to play host to the powerhouse nations in the pivotal third Test, the venue located in the Dhauladhar mountain range is still to be green-lit ahead of the first ball on March 1.

Having recently undergone redevelopments, including the relaying of the outfield after the fitting of a new drainage system, local curators face a race against time to have the playing field up to spec.

However, as reported by both Fox Sports and ESPN Cricinfo, efforts to provide a fit-for-purpose field have hit hurdles, with rain delaying work in the region.

Said reports have stated that experts from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will inspect the ground within the next week in an effort to determine whether the series will unfold as first scheduled.

As stated by a source close to the stadium's management, curators remain hopeful of completing all works in the coming days.

“There is still some work that needs to be done near the side area of the pitch. We are hopeful that things will be ready before the game,” the anonymous party told The Indian Express.

“The HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association) will take a call after the BCCI inspection. We have relaid the whole surface with proper drainage and have added sprinklers to the ground. Some work is still pending and as three weeks are left we feel the work will be completed.”

If deemed fit for purpose, the clash between India and the Australian tourists would become just the second Test played at the venue, and the first since 2017.

If not, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Pune and Indore have all been raised as replacement cities to host the penultimate contest of the four-Test series.

At present, Australia is currently behind the eight-ball during the series opener in Nagpur, with India holding a 144-run first-innings lead at the close of play on Day 2.