Veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been ruled out of the fourth and final Test against Australia that will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Thursday. Ashwin, who suffered an abdominal strain on the fourth day of the opening Test in Adelaide, trained on Tuesday but has not recovered in time and will miss his third Test in a row. Left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who played in Melbourne and claimed five wickets, looks set to retain his place in the Indian side for the fourth Test.

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

Captain Virat Kohli said Ashwin’s unavailability was a big blow to his side.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s had two niggles that are quite similar in the last two away tours,” said skipper Virat Kohli.

“He’s very important for sure. In Test cricket he’s a vital part of this team and we wanted him to be 100 percent fit for a longer period to that he can come back to us in the Test format.

“He is very disappointed that he’s not able to recover in time.”

India will need to make at least one change to the team that won in Melbourne with middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who hit a gritty 63 in the first innings, jetting back to Mumbai after his wife gave birth to a daughter.