Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been named in India’s 13-man squad for the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney. Earlier, there were media reports that Ashwin wasn’t considered for selection since he isn’t 100 percent fit.
Pacer Ishant Sharma, on the other hand, has been excluded from the team, announced by BCCI, for the SCG Test starting on January 3.
With Rohit Sharma unavailable for selection, India has been forced to make a change in the batting lineup for the final Test of the series and opener KL Rahul, who is not in best of his form, find himself in the mix.
Now, with Ishant’s name missing from the final thirteen, captain Virat Kohli will have to alter his bowling combination as well.
Hanuma Vihari filled in as the opener in Melbourne alongside debutant Mayank Agarwal but Ishant’s absence could see him drop back to the middle order with Rahul taking his spot at the top of the order.
Kuldeep Yadav’s consideration also means playing two spinners on a track that traditionally takes turn is definitely on the cards for India.
Also, Umesh Yadav is the third fast bowler in the 13-man squad, who could be replacing Ishant in the final Test of the series.
Meanwhile, the BCCI in a tweet on Wednesday said that a decision on R Ashwin’s availability will be taken on the morning of the 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
World No. 1-ranked India has already taken a 2-1 lead in the four-match series and will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, after wins in Adelaide and Melbourne.
India’s 13-man squad for the SCG Test:
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav