India’s superstar batsman, Rohit Sharma was finally declared ‘clinically fit’ by BCCI after a three-week rehabilitation program at the NCA for a hamstring injury suffered during the IPL in Dubai last month.
“Rohit has been rehabilitating and training at NCA since 19th November following a high-grade left hamstring injury suffered during the Indian Premier League (IPL),” the BCCI said in a statement.
According to BCCI, the NCA medical staff having assessed Sharma for his batting, fielding, and running between the wickets, had found his physical fitness “satisfactory”. Reports further suggest that Sharma will travel to Sydney, Australia from Mumbai, via Dubai on Sunday. However, India’s probable opening batsman will only play the last two-Tests following a strict 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia.
Meanwhile, Sharma will have to continue to work on his fitness, especially endurance, during his quarantine outside India’s bio-bubble in Sydney. His participation in the last two-Tests will only depend on assessments by the Indian medical staff.
“Sharma has been given a detailed program to follow for the duration of the two-weeks he will be quarantined for. He will be reassessed by the Team India medical team post his quarantine to establish his fitness status and a call on his participation in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be taken accordingly.”
This clarification from BCCI cleared air over the unending saga over Sharma’s fitness and rehab that even left Indian skipper, Virat Kohli confused over his unavailability for the Australian tour. Earlier speculations were also rife about whether Rohit will make it down under in time. But the extended 7-day gap between the Second and Third Test paved the path for the HITman’s international return.
The 33-year old will battle out for the opening slot alongside Mayank Agarwal. He will be in contention against KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, and Shubhman Gill. Interestingly, with Virat Kohli leaving on paternity leave after the first Test, selectors might also look at him as a possible replacement. He will also be an able aid to the stand-in captain and his Mumbai teammate, Ajinkya Rahane.
India will play their first Test starting Thursday at Adelaide. Either team will look to get off to a winning start in India’s pink-ball debut overseas. The presence of crowds in the stadium throughout the five-days also promises to increase the intensity manifold. In the two three-day practice games, both teams have seemed to be settling into their groove.
And as far as the Indian fans are concerned: The early December morning rituals are back! And back with a bang!