4th Test: India play KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav and bat at the SCG
Virat Kohli called right at the toss and opted to bat. (Image: cricket.com.au)

India made two changes – one forced, one keeping in mind the nature of the pitch – as Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat in the fourth Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

On a pitch with a green tinge and moisture in it, under somewhat overcast skies and in hot conditions, Kohli had no hesitation in batting.

With Rohit Sharma back in India for the birth of his daughter, India handed KL Rahul a potential lifeline as Test opener. Keeping in mind how much turn the SCG pitch is supposed to have, and with R Ashwin not passed fit, the touring team drafted in the wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for his first match of the series. (LIVE UPDATES: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 4th TEST)

Rahul was dropped from India’s team for the recent MCG Test after managing 49 runs in four innings on tour to close out a forgettable 2018, in which he averaged 22.28 with one century and one half-century. His return to open with Karnataka team-mate and close friend Mayank Agarwal means that and Hanuma Vihari moves back to No 6 where he batted in Perth.

Australia made the two changes expected: the opener Aaron Finch and allrounder Mitchell Marsh were omitted. Finch lost his place to Marnus Labuschange and Peter Handscomb has taken Marsh’s place; Usman Khawaja has been moved up a spot to open with Marcus Harris.

Teams: 

India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Hanuma Vihari, 7 Rishabh Pant (wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: 1 Marcus Harris, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Travis Head, 7 Tim Paine (capt/wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood