A few hours after Virat Kohli said that there is a lack of clarity regarding Rohit Sharma’s fitness and questioned why he has not travelled to Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has said that the opening batsman had to return to India from the UAE to be with his ailing father.

Kohli, speaking ahead of the ODI series starting on Friday, said that the situation was not ideal for the team, and that Rohit (along with Ishant Sharma) would have been better off being with the squad in Australia to undergo their respective rehabs.

Confirming that Rohit Sharma is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, BCCI said that his next assessment will be conducted on December 11th following which there will be clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.

Virat Kohli vs Sourav Ganguly vs Rohit Sharma: An Indian standoff that keeps getting messier

The first match of the series starts in Adelaide on December 17. There is a report that the Indian board has asked for relaxation in quarantine rules that might enable late additions to the squad be part of the squad sooner.

The BCCI press release stated that Rohit had to come back to Mumbai after the IPL to attend his ailing father. “His father is now recuperating well and that has allowed him to travel to the NCA and start his rehabilitation.

Ishant Sharma, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the series.

“[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, he has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” the released signed by Secretary Jay Shah stated.

According to a report in the Indian Express, if the rules are relaxed, Rohit could potentially reach Australia ahead of India’s second and final tour game, against Australia ‘A’ in Sydney from December 11 to 13.

As per the Australian government’s general Covid protocol, a 14-day quarantine period is necessary upon reaching Australia and they have been firm on the issue in the past. But there is a provision for an exemption. According to a report in PTI, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly will request Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley to ensure that Rohit, if he travels Down Under, can undergo soft quarantine which will allow him to train during the 14-day isolation period.

India are scheduled to play two multi-day practice matches, the first starting on December 6 (overlapping with T20I series) and the day-night warm-up match scheduled for December 11.

In other news, pacer T Natarajan has been added to the ODI squad as a back-up for Navdeep Saini who has complained of back spasm.

India’s updated ODI squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (WK, vice captain), Sanju Samson (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan.