If Ashwin stays for the Test, apropos of Bumrah, the Indian team will walk into the game with six batsmen and five bowlers, including two spin bowling-allrounders.
Tamil Nadu cricketer Washington Sundar, who was asked to stay back in Australia after the white ball series, now stands a huge chance to wear the Test whites for the fourth Test, alongside Ashwin, if the latter is declared fit to play.
Mayank Agarwal, who was expected to play this Test in the absence of Hanuma Vihari, who has been ruled out, also suffered a knock in the nets on Monday and is being observed. Should Agarwal also be ruled out, the young Prithvi Shaw will find himself back in the scheme of things – only this time to play in the middle-order.
Given Sundar’s batting abilities, he and Ashwin can be expected to play the role of all-rounders, thus boosting India’s batting order as against a depleted bowling attack that will now rest on the shoulders of Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
Sundar being considered by the team management, because of his ability to bowl and also bat a bit, will mean there will be no place for Saha to get in.
Meanwhile, Thakur is expected to be slotted in ahead of T Natarajan, given his relatively better red-ball experience.
The only potential scenario the team management will have to consider carefully is the possibility of Ashwin not being declared fit in time. Will Ravi Shastri and Ajinkya Rahane then consider a spin replacement in Kuldeep Yadav or let go of a five-pronged bowling attack and instead walk in with an extra batsman is a call that will have to be taken.
Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja have already been ruled out.
The playing eleven, for now, is expected to be on the following lines: Shubhman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Mayank Agarwal / Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.