Published:25 November 2020
India is suffering from injury problems even before its Australia tour begins. Of the first two Tests of the upcoming four-match series, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are now ruled out. Rohit is no longer part of the ODI and T20I teams and is reportedly recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered during the IPL at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
The BCCI would also have to take quick and decisive steps to be in contention for the last two Test matches. Also, Ishant Sharma will have to board the plane immediately because of the 14-day quarantine rule in Australia to be able to play the third test in Sydney beginning on January 7. To be match-fit, he needs four more weeks and only after he plays in a warm-up game will his fitness be judged.
Rohit Sharma's situation here is different. NCA will clear him up for travel by December 8 at the earliest, according to ESPNCricinfo, and then he will have to serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Besides, both Rohit and Ishant will not be allowed to practice despite being in quarantine, as the majority of their teammates are currently doing. The players who went straight from the UAE only went from one bubble to another.
But both Rohit Sharma and Ishant are not in the NCA bubble at the moment. Rohit could also have played the entire Test series, according to a BCCI official, if he had travelled from the UAE himself with the team to Australia. It has been known that for quite some time now, India's limited-overs vice-captain is away from full fitness and will need another two weeks of rehabilitation to hit 70-80% match ready.
Although nothing is official yet if Rohit Sharma is ruled out of the whole Test series, Shreyas Iyer could remain back in Australia. India has brought the likes of Kartik Tyagi and Ishan Porel with them as net bowlers as far as Ishant Sharma's replacement is concerned. Also, the Test squad already includes Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj.