Rohit Sharma needs to practice very hard to be match fit and get used to the Australian conditions quickly before the start of the third Test in Sydney on January 7, feels former spinner Pragyan Ojha.
Rohit Sharma missed the first two Tests as he couldn’t recover in time from a hamstring injury that he sustained during the Indian Premier League in UAE earlier this year which prompted him to miss 4 IPL games while he played 2 IPL games in considerable pain.
Rohit Sharma Needs Lot Of Practice Because He Had A 14 Day Quarantine Period: Pragyan Ojha
He missed the limited-overs series as well against Australia as he was undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and the 14-day quarantine rule saw him miss 2 Tests after proving his fitness at NCA. Rohit Sharma passed a fitness test and reached Sydney earlier this month but he was not able to join the squad ahead of the Melbourne Test due to stringent quarantine rules in place as he spent 14 days in quarantine in Sydney.
But now that his isolation period is over, he has hit the nets beginning his preparations for the third Test. He was the only Indian player seen in the nets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 31. Pragyan Ojha feels everybody’s focus at NCA was to get Rohit Sharma ready for Australia Tests.
“Rohit needs a lot of practice now because he had a 14-day quarantine period in his room, he has to get used to the conditions their and I think its the best way – go out there and practice. At NCA they made sure that Rohit was training harder because during the IPL and before that he had put on a little bit of weight, so they wanted him to reduce that. When you have not played for so long we are seeing a lot of injuries this season.”
“So maybe because of that they wanted Rohit to be totally match fit. At NCA everybody’s focus was to get Rohit ready so that he doesn’t have an injury on the field,” Ojha said on Sports Today.
Notably, there has been an itinerary change for both India and Australia teams as they will reaching Sydney only on January 4. The teams were expected to reach Sydney on December 31 but the Covid-19 situation has prompted to change plans.
Sydney will be the venue for the third Test despite the rising cases of Covid-19 in the city, according to Cricket Australia’s confirmation on Tuesday. Melbourne, which hosted the just-concluded Boxing Day Test, was being kept on standby while Brisbane will hold last and fourth Test starting January 15.
Rohit Sharma And David Warner May Be Seen In Action In 3rd Test
Like his Indian counterpart opener Rohit Sharma who was injured during IPL which forced him to miss 4 IPL matches, ODI and T20I series against Australia, and 2 Tests, Australian opener David Warner too suffered a groin injury during 2nd ODI and missed subsequent T20I series thereafter and 2 Tests.
Both of them will in all probability return to action during 3rd Test at Sydney starting January 7 as there is a long gap after 2nd Test’s conclusion which would force teams to rethink strategies. India are expected to field either T Natarajan or Shardul Thakur in place of injured Umesh Yadav while Navdeep Saini who was expensive in first 2 ODIs may be given a chance. KL Rahul may play in place of Hanuma Vihari as India are expected to make 3 changes.
Australia have axed Joe Burns for the last 2 Tests which may see David Warner in action alongside debutant Will Pucovski. The bowling line up of Australia may not change though after 1st Test’s heroic performances with the ball.