Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Confident India eye historic breakthrough in Sydney

Confident India eye historic breakthrough in Sydney

The fourth and final Test of an intriguing series between Australia and India gets underway at the SCG today, with the tourists searching for their first series victory on Australian soil in history. 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.

India and Australia have played 97 Tests between them since 1947 and, as expected, the Australians have dominated the numbers with 42 wins and 26 draws.

While the hosts certainly missed their star duo in Steve Smith and David Warner, they still have a chance to level the series at Sydney, where in this century, they have just lost two Tests and both against their arch-rivals England.

"We think it will spin here so if India were to play two spinners I think Pete can be a really important player for us", Paine said. Kohli was more contained than usual at the other end, ensuring that Australia are ground to dust with no Mitchell Marsh to do the hard yards.

If Ashwin is ruled out, it would allow left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who took five wickets in the MCG test, to retain his place for the series finale with possible backup from part-timer Hanuma Vihari.

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. During India's training session Ashwin underwent fitness drills with Shanker Basu, the trainer, and at one point went indoors with him while the rest continued to practice.

Protests in India after women defy ban on visiting temple
Instead the state is run by a coalition of left-wing parties which have said they will enforce the court ruling. He said he would only do so if first-time devotees decide not to visit him - which has never happened.

It was at the SCG three years ago, in 2015, that Kohli took over the reins of the team full time after MS Dhoni announced his shock retirement from Test cricket.

India will be missing middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who has returned home after the birth of his daughter. If anyone looked doubtful for selection during India's training session it was Shami, who arrived at the ground on a hot summer's Sydney day in a jacket and flip-flops and did not take part in any of the drills performed. "We know how good a player of spin he is".

Speaking of, that means Aaron Finch will be the first drop of the day, out of the team with Usman Khawaja to open the batting.

Australia have added batting all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne to their squad.

Australia: Tim Paine (capt & wk), Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Peter Handscomb, Peter Siddle.

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