The final squad for the fourth Test to be played at Sydney. What’s interesting about the team is the selection of R Ashwin as the 13th man in the squad. As per the BCCI, Ashwin will be assessed before the Sydney Test toss on Thursday morning to see if he can be included in the playing XIs.
Interestingly, this announcement came just within an hour of Virat Kohli telling reporters that Ashwin will not be considered for the fourth Test and is ruled out.
Ashwin was ruled out of the second and third Test because of failing the fitness test on account of the abdominal strain but he’s not named in India’s 13.
While addressing the pre-match press conference, Kohli told reporters, “It’s unfortunate that he’s had two niggles that are quite similar in the last couple of away tours.
It’s something he will focus on to correct. The physio and trainer have spoken to him about what he has to do. He’s very important in Test cricket, he’s a vital part of the team. We need him to be 100 per cent fit. He’s very disappointed he hasn’t recovered in time.”
The BCCI in the press release while naming the Indian squad for the final Test stated, “the team management will take a final decision on R Ashwin’s availability on the morning of the Test match”.
Other than R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, who had an impressive streak during the third Test taking 5 wickets at MCG, Hanuma Vihari and Kuldeep Yadav are the other spin-bowling options for the SCG Test.
Among others included in the team are Umesh Yadav, who is replacing Ishant Sharma in the team. Ishant had played the all the three tests taking 11 wickets at an average of 23.81 while Umesh replaced Ashwin as a pacer in Perth Test where he managed to take 2 wickets in 37 overs.
Also included in the squad are KL Rahul, who was not included in the MCG Test, and last match’s debutant Mayank Agarwal.
Rohit Sharma who is in India to be with his newborn daughter will not be in the team. This can leave KL Rahul as the opener.
India’s 12 For SCG Test
Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane (v/c), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav