Note: The article was originally published when R Ashwin was ruled out, it’s now been updated to reflect the fact he is in the final 13.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was Wednesday ruled out of the final Test against Australia on what is expected to be turning wicket at the Sydney Cricket Ground but was later named in the 13-member shortlist.
Ashwin, who suffered an abdominal strain on the fourth day of the opening Adelaide Test, trained on Tuesday.
Left-arm finger-spinner Ravindra Jadeja is expected to stay in the side for the fourth Test beginning Thursday.
Australia must win to prevent India, who lead 2-1, from claiming a first-ever series triumph Down Under.
“It’s unfortunate that he’s had two niggles that are quite similar in the last two away tours,” said skipper Virat Kohli.
“He’s very important for sure. In Test cricket he’s a vital part of this team and we wanted him to be 100 percent fit for a longer period to that he can come back to us in the Test format.
“He is very disappointed that he’s not able to recover in time.”
India will need to make at least one change to the team that won in Melbourne with middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who hit a gritty 63 in the first innings, flying back to Mumbai after his wife gave birth to a daughter.
With Sydney pitch expected to take turn, India might be tempted to play two spinners but Kohli hinted that makeshift opening batsman Hanuma Vihari is likely to slot in for that role.
“The Ashwin factor, it does make you alter your plans a little bit. But Vihari was bowling beautiful whenever he got the ball,” Kohli said.
“Vihari has looked like picking up a wicket every time he comes on to bowl. We are looking at him as a solid bowling option now, especially in this Test match.”