India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday said there has been confusion and lack of information on the status of Rohit Sharma’s injury, reported PTI.
Rohit was originally left out of all three squads named for the tour of Australia, which became a matter of intense speculation. Soon after, he returned to action towards the end of the Indian Premier League season earlier this month, playing in Mumbai Indians’ last three matches. He was subsequently added to the Test squad.
Rohit hit a match-winning knock of 68 off 50 balls in the IPL final against Delhi Capitals, and has said on more than occasion that his hamstring has felt fine. After the IPL, Rohit underwent strength and conditioning work at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru before getting ready to tour Australia. But on Tuesday, it was reported that the BCCI has been informed by NCA that Rohit, along with Ishant, will need more time to get match fit.
Speaking ahead of the One Day International series beginning in Sydney on Friday, Kohli has said he had no idea why his white-ball deputy did not travel with the team to Australia.
“Before the selection meeting (in Dubai in October), we got a mail two days before which said that he’s unavailable for selection. He’s picked up an injury during the IPL and it mentioned that there’s a two-week rest and rehab period,” Kohli said.
“It said that the pros and cons and the implications of the injuries have been explained to him and he understood that. And he was unavailable for selection and that was the information that we got on mail before the selection meeting. After that, he played in the IPL so we all thought that he’s going to be on that flight to Australia, which he wasn’t.
“And we had no information on whatsoever reason for why he’s not travelling with us. And after that, the only other information officially we’ve received on mail is that he’s at the NCA and he’s been assessed, and he’ll be further assessed on 11th December.”
Koholi went on to say the lack of information has not been ideal.
“From the time that the selection meeting happened to the IPL finishing, and now when this email came about his assessment in the NCA, there’s been no information, there’s been lack of clarity and we’ve been playing the waiting game on this issue for a while now; which is not ideal at all.
“So, yeah it’s been very confusing and there’s been a lot of uncertainty and a lack of clarity around the situation,” Kohli added.
If Rohit’s travel is delayed, a 14-day quarantine in Australia (without training) would all but rule him out of Test series.
The four-Test series, after the day-night opener in Adelaide, will move to Melbourne (December 26 to 30), followed by games in Sydney (January 7 to 11) and Brisbane (January 15 to 19). India will be without skipper Virat Kohli after the first Test as he will return home to be there for the birth of his first child.
Kohli went on to cite the example of Wriddhiman Saha, who was also injured during the IPL, travelling with the squad to Australia and making progress on his fitness.
“Would have definitely increased the chances of both of them playing Test matches (Rohit and Ishant travelling to Australia with the squad from UAE). Someone like Saha who had an injury during the IPL is here doing his rehab. So we’re aware of his progress and he’s on the right path to make sure that he’s fit and available in time to play the series.
“And same would have been the case with Ishant and Rohit as well. It would have given them a chance to get themselves fit and be available for the start of the Test series.”
“Right now there’s so much uncertainty on whether they’re going to be able to make it, if they’re going to be able to make it at all or not. It definitely would have been very helpful in them getting fit if they were here and doing the rehab just like Saha is with the team to be fit for the Test series,” the Indian captain added.
Watch the video below (the part about Rohit starts after the 8-minute mark):