India name 13-man squad for Sydney Test, include Ashwin despite injury issues

NEW DELHI: Team India has named a 13-man squad for the 4th and final Test in Australia at Sydney. Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin are the two players who didn't feature in the Melbourne Test, but have been named in the roster despite the latter failing his fitness test on Wednesday. With the SCG pitch set to offer more help to spinners, Kuldeep is likely to be drafted in the playing XI, while Ashwin now has an outside chance of being picked.

The 13-man squad brought quite a few surprises as KL Rahul was drafted back in the team after sitting out the Melbourne Test. There was no place for Murali Vijay in the team while Ishant Sharma's name was also missing from the squad. In his absence, Umesh is expected to play the role of a third pacer. 

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who also marked his return in the Indian squad after a lengthy injury lay-off, wasn't considered for selection as the team management announced the list of all possibles for the final Test. The BCCI, while revealing the 13-man squad, said that the final decision on Ashwin's involvement will be taken on the morning of the Day 1 of the 4th Test.

While Ashwin's participation in the 4th Test still remains in doubt, there's no news on the exclusion of Ishant Sharma yet. The lanky speedster has featured in all of the three matches before and formed a lethal partnership with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. His absence has opened the door for Umesh, who would look to leave a mark having been in and out of the side of late.

Various team combinations could be considered for the Sydney Test, as Kohli could opt for a 2-spinner, 2-pacer bowling composition that allows Rahul a place in the team while Hanuma Vihari goes back to his usual No. 6 role. A 5-man bowling attack is also possible featuring three pacers and 2 spinners, that keeps Rahul out of the side while Mayank and Vihari continue to open for the visitors.

India's 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 

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