Veteran Indian star ruled out of 4th test at Sydney


The rule of thumb from Kohli's era as captain suggests the answer would be no: in 13 Tests outside Asia (excluding West Indies) under Kohli, India have gone in with two spinners only once - at Lord's in 2018. 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.

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The hosts have one eye on levelling the series in Sydney and the other on the main prize in 2019 - retaining the Ashes - and their selections for the Sydney test, beginning on Thursday, will reflect this. Should India go in with 2 spinners in the match? "It's something he will focus on to correct", Kohli said in the press conference on Wednesday. Only later did the management release a statement that Ishant had, in fact, sustained an injury and the team was not willing to risk him for the final Test. "Ishant is experiencing some left rib cage discomfort and the team management did not want to risk him during this Test match". "He is very important for sure".

As per a report by Cricket Australia, Ashwin, who was not fit enough to take part in the Boxing Day Test match, took part in a solo session in the indoor centre facilities under the supervision of team physiotherapist Patrick Farhart and another support staff member.

With the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav, the two spinners will in all likelihood bamboozle the Australian batsmen.

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Australia can at best hope to level the series but with a batting line-up that has failed to stand up to a disciplined and penetrative Indian attack, the odds are stacked against the hosts.

Nonetheless, in 2004-05, Australia were a class apart as they conquered one of the toughest challenges in world cricket - beat India in India and ended a 34-year-long drought for a series win in the Asian nation. Kohli made comments about the possible absence of frontline spinner Ashwin, who missed the second and third tests after straining his abdomen while playing a key role in his team's victory in the first test in Adelaide last month.

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Peter Handscomb could also return to the side, having been dropped for Marsh for the MCG clash against India.

Now then. It's been all but confirmed that Marnus Labuschagne will bat at No3. "We want to be able to take that legacy forward and play the kind of cricket we have played in this series, which has been exciting for people to watch as well as for both teams competing", Kohli added.