Ravi Shastri, head coach of the Indian team has expressed his apprehensions about senior players batsman Rohit Sharma and pacer Ishant Sharma’s participation in the upcoming four-match Test series in Australia if they don’t reach Australia by time in the next few days.
Both Rohit Sharma (left hamstring) and Ishant Sharma(side strain) are at the NCA undergoing rehabilitation, but the BCCI is yet to announce the dates when the duo would reach Australia.
Ravi Shastri: Rohit Sharma Can’t Afford To Be Resting For Too Long
Considering the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, it is clear that they would miss the first warm-up game against Australia A commencing from December 6-8, if they don’t depart by Monday.
“He (Rohit) was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest, because you can’t afford to be resting for too long,” Ravi Shastri told ABC Sport.
“If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you’ve got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren’t, then it’s going to be tough.” Shastri said that NCA’s medical team is currently assessing how long would be Rohit’s break from the game.
“But things could get difficult if he’s asked to wait for too long, (because) then you’re talking of the quarantine again, which might make it really tough for even him to come just in time for the Test series,” the head coach added.
In an interview to PTI, Rohit Sharma said that he is confident of playing the Test series although some strength and conditioning work still needs to be done as far as his hamstring is concerned.
Ravi Shastri: Ishant Sharma’s Case Similar To Rohit Sharma
Ravi Shastri said that even Ishant Sharma’s case is similar and he would also need to play at least one practice game before he can be considered for Test selection. The second and final warm-up game, at the SCG from December 11-13, will be a day-night one before the first Test commences in Adelaide from December 17.
“It’s (Ishant’s) a similar case to Rohit,” Shastri said.
“You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. Like I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult.”
Virat Kohli was termed by the coach Ravi Shastri as the driving force of this Indian team and backed his decision to return for the birth of his first child.
“I think it’s the right decision he’s taking. These moments don’t come time and time again. He has the opportunity, he’s going back, and I think he’ll be happier for that. If you see where India have gone in the last five-six years, there’s no doubt in absolutely anyone’s mind that he’s the driving force and the man behind it (India’s success).
“So, he obviously would be missed. But like I say, in adversity comes opportunity. There are lot of young guys in the side and it’s an opportunity for them, Ravi Shastri stated.”
Virat Kohli will play the first-day night test at Adelaide before flying home for the birth of his first child, as he will miss the last three Test matches. Virat Kohli who debuted in Tests in 2011 has played 86 Tests and scored 7240 runs averaging 53.63 with 27 hundreds.