India’s chief destroyer out of second Test
India have been rocked by twin injury blows on the eve of the Perth Test, with star spinner Ravi Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma both sidelined.
Sharma has been struggling with a back complaint but it is the loss of second Test hero Ashwin which threatens to derail India's outstanding start - and their bid at a historic series victory in Australia.
Ashwin, who took six wickets and bowled 86.5 overs to seal India's tight first Test victory, paid the ultimate price for his lion-hearted effort and will miss the second Test with an abdominal strain.
In a further blow for the tourists, young superstar Privthi Shaw has not yet recovered from the ugly ankle injury suffered in India's only warm-up game a fortnight ago.
As a result, coach Ravi Shastri dug deep into the touring party to name a 13-man squad which adds steady pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Adelaide Oval 12th man Hanuma Vihari.
The loss of Ashwin, the addition of two quicks and the prospect of a green-tinged wicket at the new Optus Stadium raises the possibility of India option for an all-out pace arsenal.
Skipper Virat Kohli says his side are excited - rather than nervous - at the sight of a green monster in Perth.
"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.
"When you have four or five fast bowlers who are at the peak of their ability. It's always a great feeling to have in the side.
"For us as batsman it also gives us a lot of motivation and boosts us up that we can put in those match-winning significant batting performances because we have so much belief in our bowling unit right now."
INDIAN SQUAD FOR PERTH TEST: Virat Kohli (Capt), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav