India vs Australia: India’s predicted XI for Sydney Test

first_imgWith momentum and form on their side, Virat Kohli’s Indian team will be chasing history in the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series in Sydney starting Thursday. But in order to become the first Indian team to win a series in Australia, Kohli and the team management has to get the combination right for the fourth Test.Sydney Cricket Ground has always offered turn to the spinners throughout the five days, which makes it an exciting prospect as India have two world-class spinners in their ranks in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin while Australia have Nathan Lyon, the highest wicket-taking offie the country has ever produced.But the participation of Ashwin in the match may not be possible anymore as he failed to pass the fitness test and is not a full consideration for the Sydney Test.Ashwin was seen practicing in the indoor facility at the stadium on Tuesday when the rest of the Indian team enjoyed a break in the New Year. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner also had team physio Patrick Farhart and another support staff member for company.Ashwin took six wickets and was instrumental in the series-opening win in Adelaide, so India may have been keen to unleash a dual spin bowling attack against Australia’s ill-at-ease batsmen but they might give a look to Kuldeep Yadav at the bench now.Thank you to all the fans for the Love and support! A special win at The MCG. Next stop – SCG #TeamIndia #AUSvIND (@BCCI) December 30, 2018On the other hand, Rohit had to return to Mumbai on Monday as he got the news of his wife, Ritika Sajdeh, delivering a baby girl just a day after India registered a historic win in the Boxing Day Test match.Update – Rohit Sharma to join ODI squad on 8th JanuaryIndia batsman @ImRo45 left for Mumbai on the 30th of December to attend to his wife who has delivered a baby girl. The BCCI congratulates Rohit on the beginning of a new chapter in his life. (@BCCI) December 31, 2018But Rohit’s absence will weaken India’s batting lineup, even though Ashwin averages over 29 in Test cricket and has four hundreds to his name.That should be the only change for India in the upcoming game but if Ashwin isn’t fit enough then chinaman Kuldeep Yadav can also be considered as an excellent option. The only problem with his selection is that it will considerably weaken the batting lineup, something which India might not risk.KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were left out of the side in the third Test following their poor show in the first two games but one of the two, probably Vijay, might be recalled in the playing XI as the second opener to Mayank Agarwal, who was brilliant with the bat in his debut match.Parthiv Patel, India’s backup opener and wicket-keeper, is also an option but he hasn’t played a single game in this series and last featured in a Test match in January last year in South Africa. He managed 2 runs in the middle-order and 16 as the opener in the Johannesburg Test which India won by 63 runs.Congrats to the @BCCI @imVkohli & the Indian team for valuing test cricket & for making it your number 1 priority. We love the entertainment of what white ball cricket brings – but the ultimate challenge as a player is test cricket-the best team always wins a 5 day game BravoShane Warne (@ShaneWarne) December 30, 2018Plagued by worries over their opening pair after Perth, India solved one half of the equation by blooding Mayank Agarwal, who enjoyed a stellar debut with a 76 in the first innings and three catches in the match.With 42 in the second innings, Agarwal’s total of 118 runs for the match was a record for an Indian debutant in Australia.Spin bowling all-rounder Hanuma Vihari, promoted from number six after Perth, was less assured in his debut as an opener, scoring eight and 13.He could make way for fit-again seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya should selectors opt for two spinners.The pace triplet at The G. This was such a historic Test. Proud feeling to be a part of this group. Record breaking 130+ wickets in 2018 #TeamIndia @circleofcricket @ESPNcricinfo Shami (@MdShami11) December 30, 2018Kohli, however, praised Vihari for soaking up 111 deliveries in the Melbourne and may be reluctant to fiddle too much with a winning combination.Whatever be the case, he knows his team is in the box seat to shrug off the nation’s history of underachievement Down Under. The last Indian team to win two Tests in Australia was back in 1977-78 but the Bob Simpson-captained hosts claimed the fifth and final contest to break the hearts of Bishan Bedi’s side.advertisementScenario 1 (if Ashwin is fit): Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.Scenario 2: Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.Also Read | New year, new records for Virat Kohli? India captain eyes history in Sydney TestAlso Read | Pat Cummins for Australia Prime Minister? In-form pacer responds to popular callsAlso Read | Bumrah a nightmare to face, Pujara the difference between India and Australia: Brad Hodgelast_img read more