India vs Australia: Paine targets long-term improvement as series loss looms


Salman also went to Australia with Qalandars development squad where he impressed local cricket clubs with his performance, who offered him contract to play for them.

"It's unfortunate that he's had two niggles that are quite similar in the last two away tours", said skipper Kohli.

"If we think India were to play two spinners Pete could be a really important player for us", Paine said.

Umesh Yadav, who was dropped for the Melbourne Test, was back in the thirteen that included Mohammed Shami.

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Ravi Ashwin has been given a chance to prove his fitness on the morning of the match but they may be reluctant to select him so Ravindra Jadeja could get the nod once again while Ishant Sharma is ruled out with injury so Umesh Yadav is believed to be the likely replacement for him.

In a odd u-turn, after he was ruled out at the time of Kohli's pre-match press conference, Ashwin was named in the 13-man shortlist for this fourth Test. In Test cricket, he is a vital part of this team, and we want him to be 100% fit and for a longer period so that he can contribute to us more in the Test format. India had won the first test followed by a loss in the second.

Additionally, this 13-man shortlist can also be seen as a ploy to keep Australia guessing, for the hosts made a departure from norm and decided not to name their playing eleven for the first time in this series.

"It was a learning experience for us, Indian coaches and players praised our bowling which was very morale boosting for us", he added.

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While they need at least a draw in Sydney to win the series outright, India will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy irrespective of the result. Bumrah, the red-hot pacer at the moment with nine wickets under his belt in the third Test at Melbourne, has shown that the current crop of Australian batsmen lacks the technique to face the moving ball. This time, while there are form and injuries for the players to worry about, all of those negatives have been practically drowned out by the fact that India might actually win this.

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.

Australia have parachuted leg-spinning batsman Marnus Labuschagne into the squad for Sydney and he could start if selectors feel there is enough in the track to warrant playing him alongside Nathan Lyon.

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