Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday confirmed that pacer Ishant Sharma has been ruled out from the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia.
Ishant had sustained a side strain during the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). The pacer was recovering from the injury at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), but the board has confirmed that Ishant would not be taking any part in the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy.
"Ishant has recovered completely from his side strain injury sustained during IPL 2020 in the U.A.E. While he's building up his workload in order to achieve Test match fitness, Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy," BCCI said in an official release.
The board has also confirmed the addition of T Natarajan to the ODI squad as a back-up option. This decision was taken as pacer Navdeep Saini complained of back spasm and Natarajan has been added as a back-up.
BCCI has also clarified as to why Rohit Sharma did not travel to Australia alongside the Indian side. The batsman will undergo further assessment on December 11, and after that, it will be decided whether he will play the Test series against Australia or not.
"Rohit is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA. 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. 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," the BCCI stated in its release.
On Thursday, India skipper Virat Kohli had shed light regarding the whole injury management issue involving Rohit Sharma. The Indian skipper clarified that before the first selection meeting for the Australia tour, Rohit was advised two weeks of rest.
"Well, before we had the selection meeting in Dubai, we got a mail two days before which said that Rohit is unavailable for selection because of the injury he picked up during the IPL. It mentioned a two-week rest and rehab period, and it said that the pros and cons of the injury were explained to Rohit and he understood that. It was the information we got by mail but after that, he played in the IPL. We all thought that he would be on the flight to Australia which he wasn't and we had no information whatsoever on the reason behind him not flying to Australia," Kohli had said during the virtual press conference on Thursday.
"After that, the only information we have received on mail is that he is at NCA and he will be further assessed on December 11. So from the time the selection meeting happened and the IPL ended and now when this mail came about his assessment, there has been lack of clarity, we have been playing the waiting game on this issue and this is not ideal at all," he added.
After the white-ball leg comprising of three ODIs and three T20Is, both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game. The first Test of the four-match series between India and Australia will be a day-night contest, beginning from December 17 in Adelaide.
Kohli would be playing just one Test and then he would return home after being granted paternity leave by the BCCI. The four-match series will be a part of the World Test Championship (WTC). Australia is on top of the standing while India is in the second position after ICC altered the points system for WTC due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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