Ashwin misses Sydney Test as Australia recall Labuschagne and Handscomb

By Sports Desk January 02, 2019

India have opted against selecting Ravichandran Ashwin for the fourth Test against Australia, instead picking Kuldeep Yadav as their second spinner in Sydney.

Ashwin was initially ruled out of India's squad due to the side strain that kept him out in Perth, only for the tourists to then change tack and reveal a decision on his availability would be made on the morning of the game.

The off-spinner did bowl at the Sydney Cricket Ground prior to Thursday's toss, but was ultimately left out as India picked Kuldeep in place of Ishant Sharma, giving them a second frontline spin option in addition to Ravindra Jadeja.

India won the toss and opted to bat, with KL Rahul replacing Rohit Sharma in their other change. Rohit had been ruled out earlier in the week after returning home for the birth of his first child.

Australia's team also shows two alterations, with Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh axed.

Usman Khawaja will open in Finch's absence, while Marnus Labuschagne is slated to bat at three and Peter Handscomb returns in the middle order.

Holding a 2-1 lead in the series, India have already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but must avoid defeat in Sydney to complete a first Test series win in Australia.

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