Australia v India, fourth test, day one

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"It's something he will focus on to correct".

Ishant is experiencing some left rib cage discomfort and the team management did not want to risk him during the fourth Test match in Sydney. On Tuesday, as the Indian and Australian teams reached the official residence of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney on the occasion of the New Year's Day, Kohli was introduced as a "cricket crush". "He is very disappointed that he's not able to recover in time", Kohli elaborated.

What followed was a period of lull, that helped Kohli get his eye in, and all that stood compensated towards the end of the session, when Pujara and Kohli feasted on some exhausted bowling from the spinners.

Australia's Aaron Finch is set to pay the price for his poor form
ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE APAustralia's Aaron Finch is set to pay the price for his poor form

Marnus Labuschagne was also added to the squad following Australia's 137-run defeat to India in the Boxing Day Test last week.

A final decision on his fitness and availability for the match will be taken at toss-time.

Indian batsmen may have been inconsistent with the bat but the bowling line-up of the visitors has been absolutely phenomenal in the ongoing series. Mohammad Azharuddin made sure the trophy remained with the hosts when Australia came touring for a three-Test series in 1997-98.

"We know how good a cricketer he is, he's really skilled in all facets of the game", Paine said. That means the best an unsettled Australia lineup can do is draw the four-match contest by winning in Sydney.

Additionally, India have included left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav as cover, in case the skipper decides to go in with two spinners. So to take that challenge on, we want to win here. Kohli has matched that record in 24 away Tests.

The counter to that argument would be the preference to go "horses-for-courses" under the Kohli-Ravi Shastri regime; Kohli did go 38 Tests without naming an unchanged XI before the Southampton Test during the tour to England.

The hosts' top order has largely failed to fire and the odds are mounting that the underperforming Aaron Finch will either be pushed down or axed, with number three Usman Khawaja moving up to open alongside Marcus Harris.

India (Final 13): Virat Kohli (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin.

His bowlers pick themselves so captain Tim Paine fielded questions about batting permutations should, as has been reported, opener Aaron Finch and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh be dumped for Marnus Labuschagne and Peter Handscomb.

Match starts 5 am (IST).