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

Virat Kohli

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Maligned for much of his 83-Test career, Lyon is now among the first players picked in Australia's squad having taken 335 wickets at a career average of just under 32.

Australia slipped to defeat in the third test to go 2-1 down in the series and while the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is secured for India, Australia will be motivated not to lose the series and they will aim to win this final test and draw the series.

"The reason why we want to win this Test is because we understand as cricketers how hard it is to come here and play".

Despite the absence of two of their most prolific run-scorers - Steve Smith and David Warner, the duo that had scored almost 40% of the team's total during India's visit to Australia in 2014 - credit must be given to Kohli's men if they go on to win the ongoing series, considering the history attached to the encounters between the two teams.

"Other guys may use it but my focus has been on us improving and on us playing the best possible cricket that we can and when we haven't, making sure we learn from it". If Finch is left out, Usman Khawaja will open with Marcus Harris, and Labuschagne slotting in the middle-order.

"If that's the way we go, Usman will go out and give his all as he always does".

The SCG Test will be decisive in both teams' captain's captaincy career but it will surely present the real Test match battle which every cricket fan expects at the start of a new year. "There's ongoing discussion the last day or two but we'll have a final look at the wicket and we'll have our last chat then". We're not too far away. "Mr Virat Kohli, known worldwide as the best batsmen in the world and that passion that he brings on the pitch and on the field is just so exciting to watch...even though I hope you lose this week!", said the woman who introduced Kohli, now the No.1 batsman in Tests and ODIs in the world.

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. It is expected that the captain who will win the toss will look to bat first at Sydney because the pitch aids spinners as the matches progresses. A insane selection choice, given Mitch Marsh couldn't find a run in Melbourne, might have been bringing in the next-best batsman in the country.

Paine said it was crucial that the batsmen play their part in Sydney, with none of them getting more than 50 in Melbourne with the exception of tailender Pat Cummins. "But the fact that Vihari has bowled beautifully whenever we've given him the ball makes us feel absolutely calm about Ashwin not being able to play", said Kohli.

Australia were skittled for 151 and then 261 in Melbourne.

"That's something we've spoken about and something we are really keen to improve and address".



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