India's Ashwin back in Test frame, paceman Sharma left out

File image of Steve Smith and David Warner

SYDNEY: Australia captain Tim Paine insisted Wednesday that his priority was to develop his inexperienced cricket team for the future even as they face the prospect of losing a home series against India for the first time.

Mayank Agarwal came in for the last test and was superb opening the innings so he will continue but he could be partnered by KL Rahul who may return to the line-up with Hanuma Vihari dropping back down to number six and Rohit Sharma potentially making way.

India won the toss and elected to bowl, while Australia made two changes in swapping out Mitch Marsh and Aaron Finch for Marnus Labuschagne and Pete Handscomb.

Which 11 players will take up that challenge will not be known until Thursday's toss but what is certain is that batsman Rohit Sharma, who has returned home for the birth of his first child, and injured quick Ishant Sharma will not be among them.

Answers to these and more as Cricket Analyst, Mr Ashutosh Paibhale discusses the Sydney Test in detail.

As far as Ishant Sharma is concerned, it has been confirmed that the lanky fast-bowler will miss the Sydney Test as he is facing discomfort in his ribs after the extended spell in Melbourne. 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. He, more than anyone else, will be focused to correct this, "Kohli said on the eve of the final Test". He's very important in Test cricket, he's a vital part of the team.

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

India have named two left-arm spinners - chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and the orthodox Ravindra Jadeja in the final 13.

Not so fair enough in another way, in that he averages 28 with the bat in the Shield this season, which isn't exactly your first criterion for your Test first drop. But, hosts have the ability to bounce back and draw level in the series.

The counter to that argument would be the preference to go "horses-for-courses" under the Kohli-Ravi Shastri regime; Kohli did go 38 Tests without naming an unchanged XI before the Southampton Test during the tour to England. "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.

Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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