Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's availability remains a doubt as he hasn't recovered completely from the groin strain he suffered in the series opener in Adelaide. Ashwin missed the second and third Test in Perth and Melbourne, and is racing against time to try and prove his fitness for the Sydney game
Sydney: India have named a 13-man squad for the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney, starting on Thursday.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's availability remains a doubt as he hasn't recovered completely from the groin strain he suffered in the series opener in Adelaide. Ashwin missed the second and third Test in Perth and Melbourne, and is racing against time to try and prove his fitness for the Sydney game.
Ashwin, who was accompanied by physiotherapist Patrick Farhart and another support staff, bowled at the indoor centre facilities of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) while rest of the India squad took the day off.
The 32-year-old missed the second and third Tests because of a side strain he sustained during the first Test win in Adelaide, where he claimed 6/149, his best match figures in seven Tests in Australia.
With the SCG pitch expected to be a turner, India are hoping for Ashwin's quick recovery before the final match of the four-Test series. BCCI said they will take a call on Ashwin’s inclusion on the morning of the Test.
However, there were reports from Australia that Ashwin has been ruled out of the Test as he failed a fitness test.
India name 13-man squad for SCG Test: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, C Pujara, H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, M Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav— BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019
A decision on R Ashwin's availability will be taken on the morning of the Test #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/4Lji2FExU8
Ishant Sharma, who has taken 11 wickets in the three Tests of the series so far at an average of 23.81, has been left out of the Test, though no reason for his exclusion has been provided.
Umesh Yadav, who played the second Test in Perth as part of an all-pace attack has been included in his place. Umesh had an underwhelming game, taking just two wickets for 139 runs in India’s defeat.
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, who will miss the Test as he has flown back to Mumbai to be with his new born daughter, KL Rahul has been included in the squad. Rahul has had a miserable series so far, having made just 49 runs in four innings before he was dropped for the previous Test in Melbourne.
India lead the series 2-1 after winning in Adelaide and Melbourne. Australia claimed victory in Perth. India are aiming for their first-ever Test series win Down Under.
India's 13-man squad for Sydney Test
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
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Last Updated Jan 2, 2019, 10:17 AM IST