Australian Team Limbers Up to Support McGrath Foundation

Border Gavaskar Trophy India have won 20 out of 47 Tests since the Border Gavaskar Trophy was introduced in 1996

Inida tour of Australia 2018-19 India have won 20 out of 47 Tests since the Border Gavaskar Trophy was introduced in 1996

First-team regular Sharma was not included, however, with the reasons for his omission unclear - fellow fast bowler Umesh Yadav was named as his replacement.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was also on the squad list and could play alongside finger-spinner Ravindra Jadeja if Ashwin is not fit and India opt for two slow bowlers.

"Well, it's unfortunate that Ashwin has had two niggles quite similar in the last couple of away tours (England and now Australia)".

In-form seamer Ishant Sharma was bizarrely left out of the squad and will be replaced by Umesh Yadav, while in another blow middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who hit a gritty 63 in the first innings of the Melbourne test, has jetted back to Mumbai after his wife gave birth to a daughter.

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India announced prior to Virat Kohli's press conference that Ashwin, who has been sidelined with a side strain since the first Test, would not be considered for selection in the series finale.

Rahul is set to join his good friend and Karnataka team-mate Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order, with Vihari going back to No. 6.

The Ashwin U-turn was not explained, although there was speculation that Jadeja may also not be fully fit. The physio and trainer have spoken to him about what he has to do.

"He is very disappointed that he's not able to recover in time", Kohli said of Ashwin before the lanky off-spinner was recalled. "Honestly, you can't predict an injury, when it happens you just manage and doing what he can to get over that injury".

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"It's just team balance really".

"There's ongoing discussion the last day or two but we'll have a final look at the wicket (this afternoon) and we'll have our last chat then". Cheteshwar Pujara's average is the highest among all and he was the only batsman to score 50-plus runs in each of India's four away Test wins a year ago.

Indian pacers have beaten Australian pacers in-terms of number of wickets, average and strike rate in this series so far which also tells us why India are ahead in the series.

Nonetheless, in 2004-05, Australia were a class apart as they conquered one of the toughest challenges in world cricket - beat India in India and ended a 34-year-long drought for a series win in the Asian nation. "It's got nothing to do with proving that we have done something that hasn't been done in the past".

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