Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has claimed that both Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma have to be on the flight in the next four or five days otherwise it will be difficult for them to play in the Test series against Australia. The four-match Test series will commence from December 17.Also Read - Hardik Pandya Slips While Trying To Catch Jos Buttler As Fans Say, 'Aisa Luck Virat, Rohit Ko Kyu Nehi Milta' | IPL 2022 GT vs RR
There is no clarification from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) when Rohit and Ishant would reach Australia. The duo is currently undergoing rehabilitation in the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. Rohit (left hamstring) and Ishant (side strain) suffered injuries during recently concluded Indian Premier League. Also Read - Sourav Ganguly Spill Beans on Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma's Form, Says Matter Of Time
Considering the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, it is clear that they would miss the first warm-up game against Australia A, at Drummoyne Oval from December 6-8, if they don’t depart by Monday. Also Read - India's T20 World Cup 2022 Predicted Squad: Dinesh Karthik, Umran Malik in Contention; Rohit Sharma to Lead
“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,” 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 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.
Shastri also talked about Ishant’s scenario and said he would also need to play at least one warm-up game, so that he can be considered to play in the Test series starting from December 17. Team India will play their second warm-up game at Sydney Cricket Ground from December 11-13, which will be a day-night match.
“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.”
Terming skipper Virat Kohli as the driving force of this Indian team, Shastri backed his decision to return for the birth of his first child.
“I think it’s the right decision he’s taking,” Shastri said.
“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.”
(With PTI Inputs)