Cricket

Ishant ruled out of Australia Tests, Rohit to be assessed on December 11

Left-arm pacer T. Natarajan has been added to the ODI squad ahead of Friday’s series-opener as a back-up for injured Naveed Saini. File   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

The BCCI has announced that pacer Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of India’s Test series in Australia, while left-arm pacer T. Natarajan has been added to the ODI squad ahead of Friday’s series-opener as a back-up for injured Naveed Saini.

The BCCI has also clarified that Rohit Sharma returned to Mumbai from UAE “to attend to his ailing father” and will now be assessed on “December 11 following which the BCCI will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia”.

Also read: Cricket test: On India’s tour of Australia

In a media statement issued barely nine hours before the start of the series-opening ODI in Sydney, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated Natarajan, the Tamil Nadu left-arm pacer, was added to the ODI squad after Saini complained of back spasms.

Interestingly, the BCCI statement, issued at 11.48 pm, gave a fitness update on the two Sharmas who have been in the focus despite trying to regain fitness at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru after getting injured during the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Also read: India's tour of Australia | Rohit and Ishant unlikely for Test series

According to the BCCI statement, Rohit’s fate will be decided after the next assessment on December 11. “He is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA. Mr. Rohit Sharma’s next assessment will be conducted on December 11th following which the BCCI will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia,” .

“Mr. Rohit Sharma had to come back to Mumbai after the IPL to attend to his ailing father. His father is now recuperating well and that has allowed him to travel to the NCA and start his rehabilitation.”

Also read: India tour of Australia | Indian contingent reaches down under

Interestingly, Rohit, who led Mumbai Indians to a fifth IPL triumph days after being ruled of the limited overs’ leg in Australia due to a supposed hamstring tear, in an interview to PTI last week made no mention of his father’s ailment.

While Rohit’s fitness status continues to be vague, the BCCI has announced that Ishant has been ruled out of the Test series due to lack of match-practice. “Ishant has recovered completely from his side strain injury sustained during IPL 2020 in the UAE. While he’s building up his workload in order to achieve Test match fitness, Mr Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” the statement read.

It means that Ishant’s quest to become the first India pacer since the legendary Kapil Dev to earn 100 Test caps will be further delayed. The veteran pacer has played 97 Tests so far.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 12:24:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-tour-of-australia-ishant-ruled-out-of-australia-tests-rohit-to-be-assessed-on-december-11/article33188842.ece

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