Fit Rohit Sharma set to take off
A fit Rohit Sharma will leave for Australia on Sunday after the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore cleared him of all fitness hurdles following a detailed assessment by its chief Rahul Dravid and Sunil Joshi, the national selection committee chairman.
Sources revealed that the final fitness test was done on Thursday and involved a detailed evaluation of his workload management and skills. Rohit returned to Mumbai on Thursday itself upon receiving the green light. He will take a chartered flight on Sunday to Dubai from where he will travel to Sydney.
The Telegraph had reported on November 28 that efforts were on to send Rohit to Australia for the last two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after a conference call among the major stakeholders who included Rohit, captain Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and Joshi.
Rohit will have to go through a 14-day strict quarantine before joining his teammates. It is not clear whether he will fly to Melbourne to join the rest of the squad or stay put in Sydney. The third Test begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 7.
Sources said the seven-day gap between the second and third Tests helped the Indian team management to make a strong pitch for Rohit’s presence for the final leg of the tour. The Boxing Day Test in Melbourne ends on December 30.
His availability will come as a huge boost since Virat will return home on parental leave after the first Test in Adelaide.
“Though there will be no practice match in that period, there will be ample time for Rohit to get used to the conditions. He has the experience of playing on Australian pitches and so net sessions should suffice,” a source told The Telegraph.
Rohit last played a competitive match on November 10 — the IPL final in Dubai — after sustaining a hamstring injury. He was considered to have recovered from the injury, but India physio Nitin Patel felt he wasn’t fit enough to withstand the rigours of an international match.
It was his second major injury this year after tearing his calf earlier in New Zealand, which forced him to miss the Test leg of the tour.
Thakur, Sundar stay Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar have stayed back with the Test squad after the completion of the limited overs leg. It’s not clear whether they will be considered for the Test matches.