India wrestle with Ashwin dilemma for fourth Test

India face a selection dilemma as they press for a historic Test series victory over Australia, with Ravichandran Ashwin in line for a recall at the spin-friendly SCG.

The prolific off-spinner missed the second and third Tests with an abdominal strain but is expected to be available for the series finale starting January 3.

Should Ashwin prove his fitness, India must weigh up whether to change a winning XI after retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Melbourne.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja snagged five wickets to help secure a 2-1 series lead and put India on the cusp of clinching their first Test series win in Australia.


Australia's decision to add Marnus Labuschagne to their squad suggests there will be plenty in the SCG pitch for the spinners, meaning India could play both Ashwin and Jadeja.

Jasprit Bumrah is an automatic selection after snaring nine wickets in Melbourne and it would be a tough call to drop either of Mohammed Shami or Ishant Sharma from a pace attack described as the best India has ever produced.

Marcus Harris looks on as Ravichandran Ashwin comes in to bowl.

Marcus Harris looks on as Ravichandran Ashwin comes in to bowl.Credit:AAP

"I think Ashwin's very close to being match-fit," skipper Virat Kohli said in Melbourne.

"He's been bowling a lot of overs and I'm sure these next four days will make him even stronger.

"Regardless of it being the last Test match, he will be willing to push himself and start for the team but it depends on what kind of pitch we get in Sydney."

Kohli was full of praise for his bowlers after they restricted Australia to scores of 151 and 261 in Melbourne, capping off a fine year for the attack.

"The fact that they have taken total ownership of their skill and taken responsibility for the team is what has set them apart this calendar year," Kohli said.

"The results are there for everyone to see."

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