Australia v India: Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma ruled out of second Test

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin played a key part in India's win in the first Test down under
India v Australia, Second Test
Venue: Perth Stadium Date: Friday, 14 December
Coverage: Live Test Match Special radio and text commentary on every match on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma are out of the second Test against Australia, who are unchanged for the game which starts on Friday.

Spinner Ashwin, who took 6-149 as India won the opener in the four-Test series, has a left-sided abdominal strain.

Batsman Rohit scored 37 and one in the first Test has jarred his lower back.

Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Umesh Yadav could replace Ashwin, while Hanuma Vihari is set to come in for Sharma for the game in Perth.

Ashwin and Rohit have joined 19-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw, who is "recovering well" from a left ankle injury, on the sidelines.

"The team management is closely monitoring these players and a call on their availability for the third Test will be taken at an appropriate time," said an Indian Cricket board (BCCI) statement.

Is Kohli worried by injuries?

India, who are trying to win their first Test series in Australia, could opt for either of their fast bowlers in Kumar or Yadav instead of spinner Jadeja as the Perth Stadium, which is hosting its inaugural Test, is expected to be pace friendly.

But they may swap like-for-like as they still have fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma to call upon.

"We certainly get more excited than nervous looking at lively pitches now because we understand that we do have a bowling attack that can bowl the opposition out as much as they are confident about their attack," said India captain Virat Kohli.

"When you have fast bowlers who are at the peak of their abilities it is always a great thing to have in the side.

"And as batsmen it gives us a lot of motivation and boosts us to put in those significant match-winning batting performances, because we have so much belief in our bowling unit at the moment.

"We understand that if we bat well, we will definitely get the result that we want."

Paine defends bowler Starc

Australia captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine has declared himself fit after suffering a finger injury in the opener.

Opener Aaron Finch retains his place, while left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc is also in the side after being criticised for his performance in the first Test, despite taking 5-103.

"Starcy's been good for us. I thought the criticism he got this week has been pretty unfair to be honest," Paine said.

"Barring two or three overs where he got his radar wrong, I think he's bowled pretty well. We know his best is the best so we're pretty pumped to have him in our team."

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