BCCI’s wait and watch policy on Rohit Sharma by not naming him in the initial India T20I, ODI and Test squads for the Australia tour which begins later this month raised question marks on the opener’s fitness. What complicated the matter further was the multiple photos and videos released by Mumbai Indians, the franchise Rohit leads in IPL, which showed the right-hander batting n the nets without much discomfort.
In a recent interview to Hindustan Times, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly cleared the air on Rohit Sharma’s chances of making it to the Indian side for the Australia tour. Ganguly said the selectors will definitely reconsider their stance if Rohit proves his fitness. (Read the full Sourav Ganguly interview here)
“With Rohit, we want him fit for Australia. At some stage if he is fit, I am sure the selectors will rethink his position,” Ganguly told Hindustan Times.
Rohit has not played since the double super over match against KXIP last month in the IPL due to a hamstring injury. Kieron Pollard has been leading MI in the last few matches of the league stage but the defending champions are hopeful of Rohit’s participation in the payoffs. Asked if the star batsman should be advised to drop out of the league so as to not aggravate his injury, Ganguly responded by saying: “We haven’t seen him playing.”
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Apart from Rohit, there are question marks on the fitness of senior pacer Ishant Sharma, who too was not included in the Indian Test side because of an injury.
If the two Sharmas – Ishant and Rohit — recover in time for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, then they will be added to the Indian side, confirmed Ganguly.
“We are monitoring Ishant and Rohit. Ishant is not completely out. He will become a part of the Test series,” he said.
Rohit is currently working on his fitness with the MI squad in UAE while Ishant is undergoing rehab in India.
Ganguly said there was the option of flying the duo later than the rest of the squad to Australia, despite the bio-bubble and quarantine rules. “They can be sent later. There are flights to Australia.”
Speaking about India’s chances in the Australia tour, the former India captain said the Virat Kohli-led side can beat the mighty Aussies in their own backyard. “Australia in Australia is always tough. They will be a lot stronger with (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner back. Players like (Marnus) Labuschagne have become better,” Ganguly said. “It will be a good test for India, but they are capable of winning. It will be a good series.”