India lose Ashwin for second Test in Perth

Injury has forced India to rule Ravichandran Ashwin out of the second Test against .India could be set to unleash four quicks for the second Test against in Perth after losing offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin to injury.
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The tourists, whose victory in Adelaide handed them a 1-0 series lead, have announced a 13-man squad for the Test starting on Friday at Optus Stadium.

Ashwin, who sent down 52 overs in the second innings in Adelaide, has been ruled out with a left abdominal strain.

Rohit Sharma has been sidelined after he jarred his back while fielding and batting prodigy Prithvi Shaw remains unavailable with an ankle injury.

Spin-bowling allrounder Hanuma Vihari is tipped to replace Rohit, who had already been on shaky ground after twin batting failures in Adelaide.

The inclusion of Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar adds intrigue given predictions of a fast and bouncy Perth Stadium pitch.

India lined up with four pacemen at the WACA Test in 2012 which won by an innings and 37 runs.

The spicy Perth Stadium deck will hold no fear for an Indian pace unit widely considered to be the best the nation has produced.

Skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday made reference to India’s victory over South Africa this year on a green Johannesburg deck he rated as the toughest he had played on.

“We certainly get more excited than nervous looking at lively pitches now,” Kohli said.

“We understand that we do have a bowling attack which can bowl the opposition out as much as they are convinced about their attack.”

Umesh is capable of hitting 150km/h and could add firepower to the Adelaide attack of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

But the tendency at Perth Stadium to trap humidity could benefit swing specialist Bhuvneshwar, who was man of the match in Johannesburg.

Former England opener Michael Vaughan said India’s attack had performed exceptionally well in Adelaide and would only be stronger for having a fifth bowling option.

“When you’ve got four in your attack it’s very difficult to put the opposing team under pressure if one of them has a bad game,” Vaughan said at Fox Cricket promotional event.

“That’s why you always try and get five bowlers. That fifth bowling option would be ideal for both teams.”

The Indian team management said no decision had been made on player availability for the third Test in Melbourne.

India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.

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