Team India after an emphatic win at MCG, would be looking to create history for the first time when they square off against Australia in the fourth and final test at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
The visitors though have some serious issues regarding fitness, with influential bowler Ishant Sharma not been included in the 13 member squad. Ravinchandran Ashwin has been named in the squad, but is fighting a race against time in order to be ready for this test.
Ashwin suffered an abdominal strain on the fourth day of the opening Test in Adelaide and is likely to miss his third Test in a row. However the decision on his availability will be taken at the time of the match.
In an yet another contentious decision, Umesh Yadav has been prefered to Bhuvneshwar Kumar as a replacement for Ishant Sharma who has a slight discomfort in his left ribcage. Yadav appeared off colour in his only appearance of the series in the second test at Perth.
Left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was also named in the 13 and could play alongside Ravindra Jadeja if Ashwin is declared unfit and India wish to play two spinners
Middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who scored a gritty 63 in the first innings at Melbourne, will not be featuring in the Sydney test match , as he has flown back to Mumbai to be with his wife who recently gave birth to a baby girl.
Lokesh Rahul who had a poor test series and was axed in Melbourne, will return to partner his Karnataka team mate Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order, with Hanuma Vihari dropping back to 6.
The home side on the other hand are likely to rope in Peter Handscomb in place of Mitchell Marsh who had a poor outing in the previous test.
Australia could also play Aaron Finch in the middle order and open with Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris.
Marnus Labuschagne could also get a game as the hosts ponder over their best XI to equal the series.
India, who lead 2-1 going into the SCG, are eyeing their first-ever Test series triumph Down Under.
India likely playing XI.
Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk) , R Ashwin/Kuldeep Yadav/Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia likely playing XI.
Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb/Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (capt & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood