India's Ashwin back in Test frame, paceman Sharma left out

India's Ashwin back in Test frame, paceman Sharma left out

Ashwin was primed to return to the XI in place of Rohit Sharma, who has flown back to Mumbai to be with his wife and new-born daughter.

The tourists may be tempted to promote Kuldeep Yadav, who is mentored by Brad Hogg and notably bamboozled Australia on Test debut in Dharamsala a year ago, but Kohli gave a ringing endorsement of Vihari's offspin.

Additionally, this 13-man shortlist can also be seen as a ploy to keep Australia guessing, for the hosts made a departure from norm and decided not to name their playing eleven for the first time in this series. On the tour of England, Ashwin played in the first three Tests but suffered an aggravation to a groin injury that kept him out of the fourth and final game at the Oval. "It's something he will focus on to correct". The physio and the trainer have spoken to him in terms of what's required in order to get over that injury.

"We have already started getting fruits from our programme and I am sure very soon we'll be providing players to Pakistan's national cricket team".

"He's very disappointed with the fact that he's not able to recover in time but the things have been laid out to him about what needs to be done to get back to full fitness. Honestly, you can't predict an injury, when it happens you just manage and doing what he can to get over that injury".

"The reason why we want to win this Test is because we understand as cricketers how hard it is to come here and play".

India are 2-1 ahead in the series, courtesy of comfortable victories in Adelaide (31 runs) and Melbourne (141 runs) respectively, with one match to go.

Virat Kohli's men have a chance to create history in Sydney.

"But the way Vihari has bowled, he has looked like picking up a wicket whenever he comes on to bowl".

Ishant is out after experiencing discomfort in his left rib cage and the team management didn't want to risk him by playing him in the decider.

"We saw in the UAE his leg-spin's improved out of sight, and you're nearly leaning towards him at Test level now as a bit of an all-round option, which is a really good package for us". That may also mean Hanuma Vihari coming back in the middle order and somebody else, probably Cheteshwar Pujara to be slotted along with Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order. Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Jadeja seem like certainties with the last spot to be contested by Ashwin, Umesh and Kuldeep.

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