India have dominated Australia ever since the start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

India have dominated Australia ever since the start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

The Indian and Australian cricketers were all wearing black armbands on Day 1 of the fourth Test encounter in Sydney.

The New Year's test has more often than not been a sun-drenched celebration of Australian cricketing domination but this year it looms as a desperate scrap to prevent India from finally exerting their superiority Down Under. But Kohli's team has already reached a position where it can not lose the series and will go all out to close the Sydney match on a winning note to justify its position as the top-ranked Test team. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma and offie R Ashwin are injured and Rohit Sharma is away after his wife gave birth to their daughter.

Answers to these and more as Cricket Analyst, Mr Ashutosh Paibhale discusses the Sydney Test in detail.

There's no doubt ahead of the series finale about Virat Kohli's squad taking the Border-Gavaskar Trophy back to India.

Ishant is out after experiencing discomfort in his left rib cage and the team management didn't want to risk him by playing him in the decider.

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

"He's very important for sure. In Test cricket, he is a vital part of this team and we want him to be 100 per cent fit and for a longer period so that he can contribute to us more in the Test format", captain Kohli apprised the media of the situation.

"He is very disappointed with the fact that he has not been able to recover in time, but the things have been laid out to him (over) what needs to be done to get back to full fitness".

Umesh Yadav has been included in place of Ishant, along with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. But Vihari was bowling lovely whenever he got the ball.

Rohit Sharma has recently become a father.

Then, Australia had already relinquished the Ashes on home soil for the first time in a quarter of a century and their hopes of a series-levelling win were shattered by England's rampant bowling attack in an innings and 83-run defeat. But, hosts have the ability to bounce back and draw level in the series.

Peter Handscomb could also return to the side, having been dropped for Marsh for the MCG clash against India.

Steve Waugh's teenage son could feature for Australia in the fourth Test at the SCG.

Now then. It's been all but confirmed that Marnus Labuschagne will bat at No3. It's likely there'll be a reshuffle of the faltering top order, with Usman Khawaja tipped to move up to open the innings, and Marnus Labuschagne a contender for a call up as a backup spinning option on a wicket expected to favor spin as it deteriorates.

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