Australian captain Tim Paine said he would like to see the final look of the SCG pitch before announcing the final XI while India made few changes from their MCG Test team.
“It’s just team balance really,” Paine told reporters
“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.
“We’re not too far away. As I said all along, we’ll be looking to pick the best XI that we think is the best combination to win this Test and the wicket will play a part in that.”
“Uzzie’s opening record in Test cricket is very good,” Paine said. “He’s been on record a few times saying he’s not too fussed where he bats.
“If that’s the way we go, Usman will go out and give his all as he always does. I think the way he’s handled the last month or so has been exemplary, it’s a real credit to him.”
“If we think India were to play two spinners Pete could be a really important player for us,” Paine said.
“We know how good a player of spin he is. That’s one of the discussions we’ll be having today, if we think India will go that way and if they are, are we prepared to bring him back in.
“I’m sure if he does (play), he’s an excellent player of spin and contributes a lot to the group in the field and around the team.
“He’s a bit like Marnus in that he’s a very good package, a good person around our team.”
There was confusion over Ashwin’s fitness, less than 3 hrs after Ashwin was ruled out of the last test, the spinner was back in India’s final XI. The chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has also find a place in last 13. Since Rohit has gone back home, it has been assumed that KL Rahul will open with Mayank Agarwal and Vihari will play at Rohit’s position. Ishant has been ruled out off final test due to left rib cage discomfort, Umesh Yadav has been added in place of Ishant. No place for Pandya and Bhuvi in the squad of 13. It’s bit surprising to see that Bhuvi couldn’t find a place in any of the test.
Kohli, Rahane, Mayank, Rahul, Pujara, Vihari, Pant, Jadeja, Kuldeep, Shami, Bumrah, Umesh, Ashwin.