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India Vs Australia, 4th Test: Preview, squads, where to watch, timing & more

India Vs Australia, 4th Test: Preview, squads, where to watch, timing & more

Sydney, January 3: India and Australia will lock horns in the fourth and final Test match, starting Thursday (January 3) and a win would be on the minds of both the team.

A win in the fourth Test would end India's wait of winning a Test series on Australian soil. Team India, under the leadership of skipper Virat Kohli, lead the series 2-1 and stand a chance to script history.

Probable India XI for Sydney Test

While Tim Paine-led Australian side must be eager to continue their dominant show at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and level the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2-2. After losing the opening Test in Adelaide, the hosts came back strongly to win the second Test in Perth. Kohli and his band, however, proved why they are ranked number one in Tests and won the third Test in Melbourne.

Australia have lost just once in their last 17 Test matches at the SCG (W13, D3) and are undefeated in their last seven Tests at the venue (W5, D2).

Team India, on the other hand, have not won a Test match at the SCG since 1978 - in the eight Test matches they have played here since, they have drawn four and lost four despite winning the toss on six occasions.

Here's MyKhel preview of the Sydney Test which is also called 'Pink Test':

1. Team talk - India

1. Team talk - India

Team India have to make some forced changes to their squad as a couple of players are set to miss the Sydney Test.

Rohit Sharma, who has flown back to India due to a family matter, and Ishant Sharma, who has sustained an injury in his left rib cage, are going to miss the fourth Test.

Team India have, therefore, announced a 13-member squad comprising three spinners and three pacers for the Sydney Test. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was added back to India's squad hours after captain Virat Kohli claimed the spinner was ruled out of the fourth. KL Rahul - who was axed from the third Test - has been included in the 13-member side.

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

2. Team Talk - Australia

2. Team Talk - Australia

The hosts have decided to announce their Playing XI on the match day during the toss. But reports have it that opening batsman Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh could be rested for the must-win Pink Test.

As per reports, Queensland batsman Marnus Labuschagne and Peter Handscomb will replace Finch and Marsh, respectively, in the Playing XI on Thursday.

The Australian bowlers have been doing exceedingly well against the Indians but it is their batting which has been a major let down. None of the Aussie batsmen scored a ton in this series as compared to three centuries from India.

Pitch and conditions:

Pitch and conditions:

The Sydney pitch isn't the drop-in pitch that we saw in the first three Tests. The SCG is conventionally known for having decent pace and bounce on the first three days of the Test and gradually starts deteriorating to help the spinners.

As the weather conditions in Sydney are hot it will be tough for the bowlers.

SCG curator Justin Groves while checking out the pitch on Test eve predicted good carry early, then spin as the weather heats up.

The pitch will auger well for the batsmen and the captain winning the toss would look to bat first and prevent themselves from batting in the fourth innings.

Who said what?

Tim Paine:

Australia captain Tim Paine told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday that his team is desperate to prevent Kohli's men from becoming the first Indian team to win a Test series in Australia. "There's ongoing to be a discussion on 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.

"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, 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."

Who said what?

Who said what?

Virat Kohli:

Asked if the India players had thought about the prospect of achieving something none of their compatriots have managed in years gone by, the skipper said: "If you ask me very honestly, no.

"Because what has gone is not in our control and what is going to come is not something we need to think about.

"We need to stay in the present and focus on the things we can do. We need to figure out what the controllables are and focus on them.

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

"It's not only the team you are playing against, it's the whole nation because they get behind the team so well. When you walk into bat, you feel like 40,000 want your wicket, not just the 11 guys in the field.

"We understand how difficult it is and purely to take that challenge on, we want to win here. It's got nothing to do with proving we have done something which hasn't been done in the past.

"The motivation has never been to change history, it's only been to overcome the challenge that's in front of you."

"It does make you alter your plans a little bit throughout the course of the series. But the fact that Vihari has bowled beautifully whenever we've given him the ball makes us absolutely calm about Ashwin not getting to play. It is obviously a disappointment for us as a team and him, but if you see the way Vihari has bowled, he's looked like picking up a wicket whenever he comes to bowl.

"He's pitching the ball in the right areas and we are looking at him as a solid bowling option, especiallyin this Test match because he's got pace on the ball, he puts in the effort and he's economical - that's all you need from a guy who will bowl 10-12 overs a day," Kohli said.

Telecast

Telecast

The match will be aired live on Sony Sports Network from 5 am IST. It will also be streamed on SonyLIV and you can also follow the live update by Mykhel.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 15:46 [IST]
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