On a green top, India look to continue momentum against Aussies

Perth, Dec 13 (IANS): After registering a thrilling 31-run victory in the first cricket Test, India will look to continue the momentum when they take on Australia in the second match on a green top here on Friday.

The pitch will offer plenty of pace and bounce at the brand new Optus Stadium and that could, on paper, be an advantage for the hosts.

But an upbeat Indian team, having a world class bowling attack at their disposal, would be relishing the opportunity to have a go at their rivals.

"We get more excited than nervous looking at lively pitches now," skipper Virat Kohli had said.

India though have been hit by injuries to key players R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma who are ruled out of the Test.

Pacer Umesh Yadav, all-rounders Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja have been included in the 13-man squad.

"Ashwin has a left-sided abdominal strain. He is receiving treatment at the moment. He has been ruled out of the second Test," a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement said.

"Rohit Sharma jarred his lower back while fielding in the first Test at Adelaide. He is undergoing treatment. He too is ruled out of the second Test," it added.

The BCCI also said that teenage opener Prithvi Shaw was recovering well from his left ankle injury but still undergoing treatment.

Shaw too will be out of the second Test.

Ashwin picked up six wickets in the first Test and his absence will be dearly felt by the tourists.

In the batting department, with Rohit out injured, Vihari is likely to play his second Test after his maiden appearance at the Oval, where he scored 56 runs in the fifth Test against England.

On Thursday, the three Indian quicks were seen honing their batting skills and didn't bowl at all.

Coming to the hosts, Aaron Finch could be pushed down the order with Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh opening the batting. Finch drew a lot of flak after the first Test for his poor form opening the batting.

The Aussies are expected to field the same bowling line-up.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma.

Australia: Tim Paine (captain and wk), Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Siddle.