Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are all set to miss the first two Tests against Australia and have been ruled out. According to ESPNcricinfo, their hopes of taking part in the last two Tests hinges on swift and decisive action from the BCCI. The 14-day hard quarantine rule in Australia means he can start training only after two weeks; add another four weeks of preparatory training, and he can only be match-ready for the third Test, starting on January 7 in Sydney. A meeting of the experts of the NCA took place recently and the decision was informally conveyed to the BCCI, national selectors and the team management. This comes as a big blow for India and Indian fans.
The two cricketers who were injured during the IPL have been undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and the reports emerging are not very encouraging. The report in Mumbai Mirror 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.” A couple of days back, India head coach Ravi Shastri had said that Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma must travel to Australia in the next three or four days, if they are to join up with the squad in time for the Test series. “If there is a T20 game and he needs to just bowl four overs, Ishant is good to go immediately, but for him to get back to Test-match fitness, he needs four weeks of proper bowling still,” a BCCI source said. As for Rohit Sharma, the selectors could look at adding Shreyas Iyer – who is already part of the white-ball squads – to the Test squad as a reserve batsman. In 54 first-class games, Iyer has aggregated 4592 runs at an average of 52.18. He has 12 centuries and 23 half-centuries.
To be in contention for the third Test, Ishant, who has regained bowling fitness still needs four weeks of workload to be Test match ready and will have to leave India almost immediately. Ishant had left the IPL in the early stages due to abdominal muscle tear. The case is still unclear with Rohit Sharma as there hasn’t been any confirmed news about his fitness or his availability as Rohit Sharma himself, Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly haven’t been sticking to statements regarding the same of late. The four-match Test series begins in Adelaide on December 17, with the Indian team competing in three ODIs and three T20Is prior to that. Rohit was initially left out of all three squads, but later added to the Test contingent.