With the fourth and final Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground jest less than two days away, the Indian team management might have some good news coming their way as star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could be in the fray to make it to the playing XI after starting his training after recovering from the abdomen injury he suffered in the first Test in Adelaide.
On the New Year’s day, the Aussies had an optional net session while the Indians gave it a complete miss. But, there was one man, who was seen sweating it out in the indoor nets at the SCG. Ashwin was accompanied by physio Patrick Farhart and trainer Shankar Basu to the SCG to check whether he is fine to go or not.
According to reports in ESPNcricinfo, the session on Tuesday saw the trio spent more than an hour in the nets but it is not yet clear whether it is the official fitness test or not. A final call on Ashwin’s inclusion is expected to be made on the morning of the match.
At the end of the third Test at MCG, skipper Virat Kohli had said, “I think Ashwin’s very close to being match-fit. He’s been bowling a lot of overs, and I’m sure these next four days will make him even stronger. So regardless of it being the last Test match, he will be willing to push himself and start for the team but again it depends on what kind of pitch we get in Sydney.”
The Tamil Nadu spinner injured himself on day 4 of the Adelaide Test and he further aggravated the injury as Australia kept India on the field for almost the whole fifth day with him bowling nearly 50 overs in spite of the injury before the visitors beat the hosts to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
With the absence of Rohit Sharma for the fourth Test, there are chances for R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav to get a place in the playing XI for the series decider. With the wicket in Sydney known to assist the spinners, Ashwin’s return from injury will be welcome news for Kohli and his troops.
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