Veteran Indian star ruled out of 4th test at Sydney

Can captain Virat Kohli start 2019 by helping India rewrite history in Australia

Once again Rahul plays with soft hands as ball goes through the slips for four.

Australia is set to reveal a stunning reshuffle of the top order which would see opener Aaron Finch dumped and Queensland bolter Marnus Labuschagne become the country's new first drop for the fourth test against India.

The off spinner suffered a side strain in the first test match at Adelaide and has not been a part of the Indian team for the last two test matches at Perth and Melbourne. India are anything but.

The fourth and final Test of an intriguing series between Australia and India gets underway at the SCG today, with the tourists searching for their first series victory on Australian soil in history.

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India-Australia encounters have always been one of the most-anticipated in world cricket as the Asian giants were among the few teams who could challenge the Australian domination over the last two decades.

Barring an overnight change of thinking, the shock move would enable the Australian hierarchy to tinker with the batting line-up without a dramatic overhaul that would unsettle the team with only three tests left until the Ashes.

But the Board of Control for Cricket in India released a 13-man squad, including Ashwin and excluding paceman Ishant Sharma, two hours later and said it would be trimmed before the toss.

Let's have a look at the predicted playing XI of both teams.

. "He is now being assessed", read the statement from BCCI.

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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. 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. He, more than anyone else, will be focused to correct this, "Kohli said on the eve of the final Test". When Kohli addressed the media, it seemed to be written in black and white that Ashwin would not feature.

"The physio and trainer have spoken to him about what he has to do".

"He's very important for sure. He is very disappointed that he's not able to recover in time", Kohli elaborated. "Honestly, you can't predict an injury, when it happens you just manage and doing what he can to get over that injury".

If Ashwin is ruled out, it would allow left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who took five wickets in the MCG test, to retain his place for the series finale with possible backup from part-timer Hanuma Vihari. "I think it [Ashwin's absence] does make you alter your plans a little bit throughout the course of a series".

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