The Indian squad for the 4th Test match to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground has been announced today (2nd January 2019) morning.
The official twitter handle of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) tweeted the 13 man squad. Rohit Sharma isn’t included as he has left to attend his wife and his newly born baby girl.
The speedster and India’s most experienced bowler Ishant Sharma has been left out of the final Test match. Umesh Yadav will try to fill his void. Umesh played the Perth Test picking up a couple of wickets.
The BCCI also mentioned that the call about R Ashwin’s availability will be taken on the morning of the Test match. Ashwin suffered an abdominal strain on the 4th day of the first Test at Adelaide.
India’s 13 man squad comprises of Virat Kohli , Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.
Hardik Pandya who was called up after his recovery, surprisingly, hasn’t been included in the side. With a void at number 6, Hanuma Vihari would certainly bat down the order rather than opening the innings. It looks like KL Rahul will get another shot after the debacle that he faced in the first two games.
Historically, the SCG wicket has been a spin-friendly one. Captain Kohli and the team management might be tempted to play Kuldeep Yadav along with Ravindra Jadeja but it just might disrupt the balance of the team.
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
Pitch curator Justin Groves said that the pitch will favour the batsmen in the first two days and then get a bit unpredictable over the course of the game. He said, “What we generally have is a bit of a green tinge on days one and two favouring the batsmen a little bit. Some good early bowling with the new ball before turning late in the game and getting a bit more unpredictable as the game wears on through the five days.”
India is in the lead, 2-1, in the 4 match series. Having never won a series Down Under, captain Kohli and his company will definitely love to win the final test and eventually the series. But, Australian team would surely give all their might to level the series, 2-2.
The 4th Test begins on 3rd January 2018.
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