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India names team for Sydney Test against Australia

January 3, 2019

India has announced a 13-member squad for the fourth and final Test against Australia to be played at Sydney starting today. The presence of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin seems doubtful. Ashwin suffered an abdominal strain on the fourth day of the first Test in Adelaide. While he trained this week, he does not seem to have recovered in time.

While speaking to the media on Wednesday, captain Virat Kohli said that he was very disappointed that Ashwin would be missing the final match. However, Ashwin was still named on the squad list tweeted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with the rider,

A decision on R Ashwin's availability will be taken on the morning of the Test. - BCCI

Also missing are pacer Ishant Sharma. Instead fast bowler Umesh Yadav has been chosen.

Rohit Sharma, who hit a strong 63 runs in the first innings at Melbourne, is not available as he flew to Mumbai to be with his wife who recently gave birth to a daughter.

India lead 2-1 in the four-match series and are looking at a first-ever Test series victory in Australia.

In the meantime, there are concerns that Kohli's periodic back spasms could affect his career. Fears the captain played down at a press conference, saying, all players get "niggles". He said, "I've had this issue since 2011, it's nothing new." Kohli received treatment during the Melbourne Test against Australia last week, and seemed to be in pain.

Kohli has a recent history of back problems and was forced off the field during the second Test in England in 2018. Kohli has recorded highest international runs for three years in a row, and aims to be the first captain in Indian history to win a Test series in Australia.

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