Things don’t look too good for Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma, who are currently nursing their injuries, and it is very likely that the Indian team will miss out on availing their services in the much anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy set to commence from December 17.
Ishant Sharma picked up a ribcage injury while Rohit Sharma had sustained a hamstring injury in the recently concluded IPL. Thus, they were left out of the squads announced by the BCCI for India’s tour to Australia. However, BCCI had said that their progress will be monitored by a medical team and a final call will be taken based on their fitness status before the series. Both the players are currently undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru as they aim to regain full fitness.
Rohit Sharma was later added in the test squad. While updating the squads for the Australia tour, the BCCI had said: “The BCCI Medical Team has been monitoring Rohit Sharma’s fitness and has briefed All-India Senior Selection Committee on the same. In consultation with Mr Sharma, it has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness and he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.”
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the results that have emerged from the NCA are not very encouraging and none of them is likely to recover completely before the series. The report mentioned, “A meeting of the experts of the NCA is understood to have taken place recently when the fitness status of the duo was discussed and then informally conveyed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, national selectors and the team management. A formal communication is expected soon.”
Ravi Shastri has spoken about their injuries a few days back and has stated that they must travel to Australia in the next 3-4 days to make it in time for the test series.
“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 in an interview on ABC Sport’s Summer Grandstand.
Talking about Rohit Sharma’s injury further, he added,“He’s going through some tests at the NCA and they’re obviously going to decide how long he needs to take a break. But things could get difficult if he’s asked to wait for too long, 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.”
Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to a record 5th title win in the IPL and had played in the final few matches after missing out on four games owing to the injury which had hinted towards a speedy recovery. Earlier, he had also mentioned about his rehab going well and he seemed optimistic of making a comeback.
“Hamstring is feeling absolutely fine. Just started the process of getting it nice and strong. Before I play the longer format, I absolutely needed to be clear in mind that there is no stone that is left unturned, that’s probably the reason, I’m at the NCA,” Rohit had said.
The absence of Ishant Sharma is expected to disturb India’s pace attack and the absence of Virat Kohli in the final three tests will also hamper India’s chances and Australia will start as the favourites for the series win.
Virat Kohli had led India to a 2-1 series win in their last tour to Australia in 2018-19 to become the first team from Asia to register a Test series win on Australian soil.
India and Australia will play three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many T20Is before the four test match series. The first ODI will be played on November 27 in Sydney.