After a dominating 137-run victory in the 3rd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, BCCI announced the final 13-man squad for the 4th and final Test match of the series scheduled to take place at the SCG in Sydney starting 3rd January 2019.
India name 13-man squad for SCG Test: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, C Pujara, H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, M Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
A decision on R Ashwin's availability will be taken on the morning of the Test #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/4Lji2FExU8
A series of developments have taken place in the last two days as Rohit Sharma has gone back home to spend time with his newborn while Ishant Sharma didn't make the cut, despite earlier announcements of him replacing Umesh Yadav were made. Left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav is also included.
Although all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who's recovering from an abdominal injury has been named as one of the final 13, a decision on his availability will be made on Thursday morning just before the match begins.
While fans are more or less convinced with the roster, the BCCI is being criticised for selecting out-of-form batsman KL Rahul in the final 13.
@imVkohli @BCCI @RaviShastriOfc why kl rahul is included in team again? Do you have some standard left? Is performance any benchmark or just good looks are req for team selection? Everyone has to earn his place, not just being coach's favorite ð ð ð #INDvAUS— PruBaba (@theprashu) January 2, 2019
Where is ishant ? he would have scored more runs than kl rahul ð— arvind (@arvind_1352) January 2, 2019
KL Rahul & Umesh Yadav ðððso we have decided to lose the match.— Aditya ðð(@MyTakeOn_) January 2, 2019
I still don't know why these guys are ignoring Bhuvi he is better bowler than Umesh And considering present form better batsman than Rahul— Anjaneya Durgesh K (@AnjaneyaDurgesh) January 2, 2019 January 2, 2019
Quite surprised with Indian team selection's decision on inclusion of K L Rahul in 13 man squad !! Has he not been given enough chances ? He needs more polish to perform at the national level ! Half baked dish is harmful for India at this stage.— Pushpinder Singh Sappal (@Pushpin63862765) January 2, 2019
This is seriously shitty team selection. @mvj888 Got a ð¯in practice match at SCG, and just dropped after 2 matches is not given a chance, whereas @klrahul11 Who has been given 19 test innings and has failed (other than one off in England) is preferred ahead.— Saurabh Khatod (@Saurabh105) January 2, 2019
The opposition to KL Rahul's inclusion in the squad may be well justified, as despite being given numerous opportunities to prove his worth, Rahul has failed to perform time and again.
Before being dropped from the playing 11 for the 3rd Test, Rahul scored 2 and 44 at Adelaide and 2 and 0 at Perth. The fact that debutant Mayank Agarwal put up more runs than Rahul's combined total in just a single inning, really puts things into perspective.
With India leading the series 2-1, the Men in Blue are on the verge of their first ever Test series victory against Australia on their home turf. If included in the final roster, KL Rahul's success or failure would most definitely play a crucial role.