SYDNEY - Marnus Labuschagne has been added to the Australian Test squad for the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy beginning 3 January at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The right-handed batsman from Queensland also serves as a leg-spin bowling option and made his Test debut in the United Arab Emirates during the two-Test series against Pakistan in October this year. Australia face a must-win situation in Sydney in the New Year’s Test after having lost the Boxing-Day Test in Melbourne by 137 runs and conceded a 2-1 lead as well as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to India.

“We’ll get up to Sydney and have a look at the conditions,” Australia captain Tim Paine said after the Melbourne Test on Sunday, 30 December, while confirming Labuschagne’s inclusion. “From what we’re hearing, it’ll probably spin quite a bit so once we see that for ourselves, we’ll start to think about the best combination for ourselves to win that Test.”

With Australia’s batting not able to match their Indian counterparts in Melbourne, changes are expected to be ushered in for the final Test and Paine admitted there will be “a lot of things on the table”.”We think we’ve got the best group of players available to us at the moment and we’ll pick the best combination for that group that we think will win the last Test,” Paine said.

Since his debut series in the UAE, Labuschagne was dropped from the squad for Peter Handscomb and Mitchell Marsh, who occupied middle-order spots. Labuschagne picked up seven wickets and scored 43 runs in the two Tests he played against Pakistan and averages 28 with the bat from five Sheffield Shield matches following that series. While his last five first-class scores of 52, 4, 47, 21 and 78 hold him in good stead, he might make the cut as much for his leg-spin as for his batting credentials and could replace Marsh as the fifth bowling option.

SQUAD: Tim Paine (c & wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Marsh, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc.