R Ashwin fails fitness test, out of SCG Test
Virat Kohli may yet be able to call on R Ashwin at the SCG. © AFP

India will be without R Ashwin for the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground after it was confirmed Wednesday that the offspinner is not fully fit.

Ashwin, who missed the second and third Tests on account of an abdominal strain, failed a fitness test at the SCG and will not be considered for selection, Virat Kohli told reporters.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s had two niggles that are quite similar in the last couple of away tours,” said Kohli. “It’s something he will focus on to correct. The physio and trainer have spoken to him about what he has to do. He’s very important in Test cricket, he’s a vital part of the team. We need him to be 100 per cent fit. He’s very disappointed he hasn’t recovered in time.” (ALSO READ: Ravichandran Ashwin trains at Sydney nets to regain fitness ahead of final Test)

Ravindra Jadeja played the third Test at the MCG where he took five wickets. He looks set to retain his place on an SCG pitch that is expected to take turn, with Kohli adding that Hanuma Vihari‘s part-time spin is an asset.

“The Ashwin factor, it does make you alter your plans a little bit. But Vihari was bowling beautiful whenever he got the ball,” Kohli said. “Vihari has looked like picking up a wicket every time he comes on to bowl. We are looking at him as a solid bowling option now, especially in this Test match.”

This is now the second straight overseas Test series in which Ashwin has not played each match.