Rohit Sharma to miss fourth Australia vs India Test
Australia call-up Marnus Labuschagne for must-win Test at SCG
Last Updated: 31/12/18 10:39am
Rohit Sharma will miss India's crucial fourth Test against Australia in Sydney after flying home to spend time with his wife and new baby daughter.
The 31-year-old jetted back to Mumbai straight after India won the third Test in Melbourne to take a 2-1 lead in the series with one match to play.
Sharma - who will return to Australia in time for the three-match ODI series that starts in Sydney on January 12 - scored 63 batting at No 6 in India's first innings at the MCG to help set up a 137-run victory.
Virat Kohli's men now need only a draw at the SCG to claim a first Test series win in Australia, with batsmen Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin all vying to replace Rohit.
Australia have called up leg-spinning all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne for the Sydney Test, leaving Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch sweating on their places.
Marsh scored nine and 10 and went wicketless in his first appearance of the series in Melbourne, while opener Finch has reached fifty just once in six innings and averages a lowly 16.16.
"I think there'll be a lot of things on the table," Australia captain Tim Paine said of his team's selection dilemmas.
"We've got the best group of players available to us at the moment and we'll pick the best combination out of that group that we think will win this last Test.
"We'll get up to Sydney and have a look at the conditions. From what I'm hearing it will be dry, spin quite a bit, a bit like the old SCG used to be.
"We know Mitch [Marsh] at his best can offer a lot to Australian cricket. We just need to make sure he's at his best more often than not and, like the rest of us, the gap between his best and his worst gets smaller all the time."
On Finch's position, Australia coach Justin Langer added: "It's something we're talking about. He's having a bit of a lean run of it.
"He is a really good player, we know that, and he's great in the team. He's working harder probably than he's ever worked.
"It's a great challenge for him at the moment. Test cricket is about toughness and character and he'll be better for this period."
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