Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma to miss first 2 Tests against Australia: Details here
Rohit Sharma has been nursing a hamstring-strain since the just-concluded Indian Premier League, which was won by his side, Mumbai Indians. Ishant Sharma, meanwhile, is recovering from an abdominal muscle tear, he suffered during the same tournament.
In what could be considered as a significant setback for Team India, Down Under, prolific opener Rohit Sharma, along with yielding pacer Ishant Sharma, has been ruled out of the opening two Tests, starting December 17. India are the defending champions of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, they won during their last visit to Australia, in 2018-19.
Both the players are currently nursing injuries that they suffered during the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While Rohit is recovering from a hamstring-strain, Ishant has an abdominal muscle tear.
According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, Ishant has regained bowling fitness. However, he would need four more weeks to be ready to manage the severe workload for Test cricket. Although he is expected to fly to Australia soon, the 14-day quarantine rule, followed by four weeks of preparatory training, won't make him match ready before the third Test, on January 7.
"If there is a T20 game and he needs to just bowl four overs, Ishant is good to go immediately, but for him to get back to Test-match fitness, he needs four weeks of proper bowling still," a BCCI source was quoted as saying.
As for Rohit, he is yet to gain 100% fitness for the format and would only be cleared by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) by December 8. Although he can still make it to Australia by then, the quarantine norms would not allow him to train or play before December 22. It is also being reported that he would require at least a couple of more weeks to regain full match fitness, as flying to Australia directly from UAE would have given him a chance to play from the second Test at least.
Following Rohit's absence in the first two Tests, it is expected that the national selector would add Shreyas Iyer to the squad, who is already a member of the limited-overs campaign, Down Under. He has scored 4,592 First-Class runs in 54 games at a fair average of 52.18, including 12 centuries and 23 half-centuries, while he is yet to make his Test debut.
Meanwhile, replacing Ishant would not be much of a headache, as India already possess mortal pacers like Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. Also, with the likes of Kartik Tyagi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Ishan Porel in the squad as reserve bowlers, one of them could be called up as his replacement, in case the need arises.