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Australia vs India: Ravi Ashwin geared to make the cut for Sydney Test

Ashwin didn't play the last two matches.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Indian off-break bowler Ravi Ashwin has been suffering from an abdominal strain ever since the five-match Test series against England back in August-September. The same injury has come back to haunt the 32-year-old Tamil Nadu-born tweaker even in the ongoing four-match Test series against Tim Paine’s Australia that the visiting team, captained by Virat Kohli, is leading by 2-1.

The fourth and final encounter is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, January 3 at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). In the meantime, it has been learned that Ashwin is trying his heart out to make the cut for the encounter. Even as the Indian gave the training sessions a miss, Ashwin turned up at the SCG indoor nets on the team’s day off as per reports in ESPNcricinfo.

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Ashwin didn’t play in Perth and Melbourne

He was under the supervision of Patrick Farhat and trainer Shankar Basu while Australia wrapped up their optional training session. The spinner played the opening match at the Adelaide Oval and picked up six wickets. He created enough problems for the left-handers in the Australian batting lineup. However, he aggravated his injury and didn’t play the second Test in Perth.

To add to his agony, he also missed the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Ahead of the last Test, Rohit Sharma pulled himself out and went to attend his wife Ritik Sajdeh as the couple entered parenthood. The Mumbaikar’s exclusion has opened up the doors on Ashwin and bearing in mind the speculated nature of the strip at the SCG, Ashwin’s inclusion is a possibility.

India won the opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs, courtesy of an all-round performance. Virat’s men lost the second Test in Perth by 146 runs but came back to take an unassailable lead in the series with a 137-run victory. They now have the chance of winning their maiden Test series’ on Australian soil in over 71 years and for that, they at least need to draw the contest.

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