Lyon to return in Adelaide
Nathan Lyon's recall in place of a fast bowler will be the only change to Australia's XI for the fourth Test against India at Adelaide Oval, the national selector John Inverarity has confirmed.
Inverarity has named an unchanged squad for the final match of the series, indicating that Lyon's return to the team was guaranteed after missing out on a speedy pitch in Perth. Lyon has taken only two tail-end wickets in the series, but will be leaned on heavily on an Adelaide surface that will invariably take turn as the match progresses.
"A spin bowler has always been a priority in Test matches at Adelaide Oval and it is very likely that Nathan Lyon will replace one of the other bowlers in the final XI for the fourth Test," Inverarity said.
"The fact the Australians were able to dismiss India in only 60 and 63 overs in Perth and the extra two rest days because the Test finished early has meant that there is reduced concern about excessive workloads for the fast bowlers. Michael Clarke's team will be striving to maintain the momentum with a win in Adelaide."
The choice of which fast bowler to drop for Adelaide will be a vexing one, given that all delivered piercing spells at the WACA ground. Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle are the two quicks arguably in need of some rest, having played every match of the India series so far.
Siddle, the most durable member of the pace attack this summer, has played in eight consecutive Tests since forcing his way back into the team for the final match in Sri Lanka. However his bowling method may be better suited to Adelaide than Hilfenhaus, who has not enjoyed much success at the ground for Tasmania and was left out of the XI for the corresponding Ashes Test last summer.
Ryan Harris' fitness is constantly monitored, but he has a strong record of performance at Adelaide Oval from his time with South Australia. Mitchell Starc's case is also strong, given his wickets in both innings at the WACA and also the selectors' desire to build his experience and poise for future international assignments.
The unchanged squad also affords further chances for the top order batsman Shaun Marsh and the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, both of whom have endured difficult series against India despite Australia's 3-0 domination. Shane Watson was again not considered due to ongoing calf trouble.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo