Vodafone Test Series v India
Jadeja ruled out as Rahane praises Indian resilience
India have several fresh injuries to worry about as they mull who should be called up for the four-Test series decider against Australia at the Gabba
12 January 2021, 07:47 AM AEST
India captain Ajinkya Rahane has praised several teammates for pushing through the pain barrier as his battered side seek to complete a series boilover in Brisbane.
The four-Test series between Australia and India is locked at 1-1 after a dramatic draw in Sydney, meaning the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be up for grabs in the contest that begins at the Gabba on Friday.
The visitors' injury-marred tour continued at the SCG, creating fresh selection headaches.
India will be forced to make at least one change to their incumbent side because of the enforced omission of Ravindra Jadeja (broken thumb), who will return to India after consulting a hand specialist in Sydney.
Hanuma Vihari is also in extreme doubt for the final Test after tweaking his hamstring on Monday, especially given there is just a three-day break between games.
Rishabh Pant's arm injury will be assessed.
Star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is continuing to manage a finger injury, while Ravichandran Ashwin's wife Prithi revealed the offspinner had been in "unbelievable pain" because of a back injury.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli, who welcomed the birth of his first child late on Monday night, headlines the list of unavailable stars.
India have also been weakened by the absence of Mohammed Shami (arm), Umesh Yadav (calf), Ishant Sharma (side), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh) and KL Rahul (wrist).
Rahane praised his depleted team for digging deep in the third Test, highlighting the desperation showed by hobbled batsmen Vihari and Ashwin as they successfully negotiated the entire final session.
"I'm really proud as a captain of each individual," Rahane said.
"You don't want your players to get injured but injuries are a thing you can't control.
"Our talk in the middle and in the dressing room was if we need you to bat, you have to bat.
"Guys were ready for it. Credit to Hanuma, Ashwin was struggling, and Jadeja was padded up.
"It shows their character ... it's a very good sign."
Rahane argued the draw was was good as a victory in the circumstances, having been set a target of 407 that may have potentially been within reach if not for Vihari's injury.
"With so many injuries happening, our only focus was to just fight until the end," he said.
Momentum has swung violently and frequently throughout the series, which started with India being skittled for a record-low total of 36 en route to a crushing defeat at Adelaide Oval.
"We were all disappointed but the atmosphere was good. Credit to management, they kept it really light," Rahane said.
"We didn't think about what happened in Adelaide. We were just focused on Melbourne.
"Melbourne Test was really special for us ... this SCG Test was really special."
Vodafone Test Series v India 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan
First Test: Australia won by eight wickets
Second Test: India won by eight wickets
Third Test: Match drawn
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT