India’s two mainstays Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are undergoing strengthening and rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru after sustaining injuries in the just-concluded 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Though the two are not a part of India’s squad for the limited-overs series against Australia, they are named in the four-match Test series, starting from December 17 in Adelaide.
Both Rohit and Ishant are expected to board the flight to Australia after passing their fitness test. However, Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri believes that both the players would have to board the flight to Australia soon if they wish to take part in the red-ball series. Speaking about Rohit’s fitness, Shastri reckoned that the opening batsman is undergoing a few tests at NCA to know for how long he needs to sit out.
“He’s going through some tests at the NCA and they’re obviously going to decide [for] how long he needs to take a break. But things could get difficult if he’s asked to wait for too long, [because] then you’re talking of the quarantine again, which might make it really tough for even him to come just in time for the Test series.” Ravi Shastri told ABC Sport.
Rohit Sharma was never going to play the white-ball series: Ravi Shastri
As per the guidelines laid by the Australian government, the Indian players will have to serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine period before taking part in the games. Though the first Test will start on December 17, India is scheduled to play a three-day warm-up match on December 11 before that. Thus, to participate in the warm-match, Ishant and Rohit would have to land in Australia on November 26.
India’s head coach is worried about the same as he stated that both the players need to be on the flight in the next three or four days. Also, the presence of Rohit becomes more important for the Indian team in the longest format of the game as Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be unavailable for the last three Test fixtures.
“He was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest, because you can’t afford to be resting for too long. If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you’ve got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren’t, then it’s going to be tough.” Shastri said.
Speaking about Ishant, the veteran stated, “It’s a similar case to Rohit. You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. Like I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult.”
Source: Cricket News – CricTracker