India reverse call on R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma omitted for Sydney Test
A call on R Ashwin's fitness will be taken on Thursday. © AFP

India reversed their decision Wednesday to rule out top spinner R Ashwin from the fourth Test against Australia, with pace spearhead Ishant Sharma missing from their 13-man squad.

Indian officials had earlier told reporters Ashwin had not recovered from an abdominal strain that has kept him out of the last two Tests, and skipper Virat Kohli said the offspinner was “very disappointed” to miss the final match of the series.

But barely an hour later, his name was on the squad list tweeted by the BCCI, India’s governing body.

“A decision on R Ashwin’s availability will be taken on the morning of the Test,” it said ahead of what is expected to be turning wicket at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In a surprise, Ishant was not included with fast bowler Umesh Yadav preferred.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was also named and could play alongside finger-spinner Ravindra Jadeja if Ashwin is not fit and India opt for two slow bowlers.

Middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who hit a gritty 63 in the first innings at Melbourne, is not available after jetting back to Mumbai to be with his wife who recently gave birth.

Australia must win in Sydney to prevent India, who lead 2-1, claiming a first-ever series triumph Down Under.

India squad: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.