Cricket

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

Rohit Sharma. File Photo   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are extremely unlikely to join India’s team for the four-Test series in Australia, starting December 17.

The duo, after breaking down during the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates, has been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

While Ishant returned to India midway through the IPL after tearing an abdominal muscle, Rohit stayed back after a hamstring tear and even returned to lead Mumbai Indians for its fifth title despite being ruled out of the limited overs’ leg Down Under.

According to a BCCI insider, the duo is “all but ruled out” considering Ishant’s “lack of match practice” and Rohit’s “recovery [being] slower than expected”. According to a member of India’s contingent in Australia, it will be “a miracle if both of them join the squad”.

Time constraints

The Hindu understands that Ishant, despite having resumed bowling at NCA under the watchful eyes of NCA head Rahul Dravid, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey along with the medical staff, would be ready to bowl at full tilt only by mid-December.

Similarly, Rohit’s injury “may heal” by then.

Even if they leave for Australia around mid-December, it would leave them little or no time to reach Australia, serve the mandatory hard quarantine for 14 days, and then train and be match-ready in the middle of the series.

India head coach Ravi Shastri also hinted the same during a radio interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

While Ishant has taken all due precautions, the manner in which Rohit’s injury rehab has been handled has posed serious questions on the BCCI’s injury management mechanism and a senior cricketer’s preference to IPL over international cricket.

It is understood that the medical report that was presented to the national selectors on October 26 had stated Rohit won’t be available for India selection “at least for three weeks”.

Soon after the selectors didn’t consider him for the limited overs’ leg, which begins on Friday, Rohit returned to the field for Mumbai Indians on November 3, and played a match-winning knock in the final on November 10.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:15:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/rohit-ishant-to-miss-first-two-australia-tests-also-doubtful-for-remaining-two/article33170842.ece

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