Hanuma Vihari’s bowling makes us absolutely calm about R Ashwin not getting to play: Virat Kohli
The fourth and final Test starts on January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Updated - Jan 2, 2019 6:34 pm
Team India will be standing on the cusp of history when they take on Australia in the fourth and final Test. The visitors are just one match away from achieving what no other Indian team could achieve in the past – winning a Test series in Australia. Virat Kohli & Co., however, have a brilliant chance of breaking that duck and end the country’s long wait for a series win Down Under. India lead the ongoing four-match series 2-1 following the thumping 137-run win in the third Test at Melbourne.
The win has already helped India take an unassailable lead and retain the prestigious Border-Gavaskar series. Team India now needs just a draw in the final Test to win a historic series. However, their hopes of winning the series could be dealt a major blow due to the absence of their spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner had suffered an abdominal strain during the first Test and missed the last two games. And although he has been named in the 13-man squad, he is still in doubt for the last Test.
Along with Ashwin, India have also named two other spinners in the team in the form of Ravindra Jadeja, who played the last Test and Kuldeep Yadav who is yet to get a game this series. However, it looks like India are likely to play with just one frontline spinner in the form of Jadeja as captain Virat Kohli hinted.
Hanuma Vihari has bowled beautifully:
While ruing the absence of Ashwin, Kohli said that part-timer Hanuma Vihari has done well with the ball which takes the pressure off the team in Ashwin’s absence.
“It [Ashwin’s absence] 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, specially in 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.
The fourth Test starts on January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.