Ashwin ruled out of Boxing Day Test, Rahul and Vijay axed

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"It's not often that you find a team these days when they travel overseas where it's 1-1 in a series with two matches to go". Then you would have preferred to say that upfront rather than now.

Jadeja's injury has also raised questions about the team's injury management.

Justin Langer was shocked to see "the fastest pitch I've ever seen in Perth" described as average by the match referee, a contentious grading that has ignited global debate on the future of Test cricket and what constitutes a good deck. "Still felt stiff in the shoulder, and he was injected again and it takes time to settle". That is something I wouldn't want to do if my shoulder is settling down from an injection.

"It's odd for a bowler nursing an injury to be dispatched to the deep, especially where the boundaries are longer than they are in the subcontinent".

India played without a specialist spinner after Ravichandran Ashwin was ruled out of the Perth Test, a move which came back to haunt them as they saw off-spinner Nathan Lyon finish with 8 wickets in the match, the most by any bowler from either side.

Jadeja, who did spend a significant amount of time fielding as 12th man in Perth, is also in doubt for Boxing Day. A year ago he was really good in terms of contributing to the Test matches as well.

"I think I will get two hundreds but it will be important for me not to think about it and continue the way I am batting". He had some stiffness when he was in India as well but he did play domestic cricket after that. I said it last week - for us it's about focusing on what we do well and what we are going to do this week. The exclusion of the regular openers implies that either him or Hanuma Vihari will open the innings for the visitors along side Mayank while the other would fit in the much debated number 6 slot. "I think he's had conversations with the selectors that there's a few things he needs to work on and Pete is open to that", captain Tim Paine told reporters.

"It's obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order". If you are not picking from there then you are slightly fraction of a second late.

Unless Shastri was playing mind games to keep the Aussies guessing, the chances of Mayank making his Test debut here doesn't look too bright. He scored 20, he looked solid, looked comfortable.

"Now to be out in the middle going head-to-head with him in a Test series is something I'm really relishing".

Commenting on his individual effort with the willow in the opening two Tests, the 30-year-old exuded confidence on converting his half-centuries to a ton in the remaining two games. Rohit Sharma has recovered from his back injury and was back in the nets while Ashwin will be monitored during the next 48 hours.