India blow as spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin to miss final Test


But it's worth nothing that Tim Paine, when asked about the fake news that was Ashwin failing a fitness test, offered a frank response. With India winning their first Boxing Day Test, Kohli equalled predecessor Sourav Ganguly to win the most number of Tests overseas and also became only the second Indian captain after Bishan Singh Bedi to win two Tests Down Under.

"He is very disappointed that he's not able to recover in time", Kohli said of Ashwin before the lanky off-spinner was recalled. Bumrah, the red-hot pacer at the moment with nine wickets under his belt in the third Test at Melbourne, has shown that the current crop of Australian batsmen lacks the technique to face the moving ball.

Barring an overnight change of thinking, the shock move would enable the Australian hierarchy to tinker with the batting line-up without a dramatic overhaul that would unsettle the team with only three Tests left until the Ashes.

Let's have a look at the predicted playing XI of both teams.


Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was also on the squad list and could play alongside finger-spinner Ravindra Jadeja if Ashwin is not fit and India opt for two slow bowlers. In Test cricket he is a vital part of this team, and we want him to be 100% fit and for a longer period so that he can contribute to us more in the Test format. This time Ashwin was declared unfit before being included in the 13.

In Rohit Sharma's absence, out-of-favour opener KL Rahul could be slated for a comeback after missing out in Melbourne, with Hanuma Vihari slotting down to his number six spot.

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India announced prior to Virat Kohli's press conference that Ashwin, who has been sidelined with a side strain since the first Test, would not be considered for selection in Sydney.

"It's is not only the team you are playing against but the whole nation as they get behind their team so well".

While they need at least a draw in Sydney to win the series outright, India will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy irrespective of the result.

It remains to be seen if this would solve any of Australia's batting problems, with not a single batsman scoring a century so far in this Test series.

India squad: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.