Indian captain Virat Kohli on Thursday opened a pandora’s box regarding the team management while talking about “confusion and lack of clarity” with Rohit Sharma’s selection in the team.
Rohit, who was initially left out of all the three Indian squads for the Australia tour, was included in the team for the four-match Test series. He will miss the limited-overs part of the tour due to an injury he suffered at the recently-concluded IPL.
However, it came to be known last week that the 34-year-old would not be able to take part in the opening two Tests of the series. His participation in the next two Tests has been put in dark as well.
“Before the selection meeting, we got a mail that he is unavailable, that he has picked up an injury during the IPL. It said that the pros and cons of the injury were explained to him and he understood and he was unavailable,” Kohli said.
“After that (the selection meeting) he played in the IPL and we all thought he would be on that flight to Australia and we had no information on why he is not travelling with us. There has been no information, there has been lack of clarity.
“We have been playing the waiting game,” he added.
Rohit is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) where he is recovering a hamstring injury he suffered during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), where he led Mumbai Indians to their fifth title.
Kohli said that Rohit’s next assessment at the NCA will happen on December 11 and right now it’s a waiting game for the team sitting in Australia.
“The only other information we got is that he is in NCA and he is being assessed and he will again be assessed on 11th December. It’s not ideal at all. It’s been very confusing and a lot of uncertainty and lack of clarity around the situation,” the skipper’s irritation was palpable.
Rohit is reportedly not yet match-fit and will be cleared for travel only in the second week of December. He will need a further two weeks of rehabilitation before a final assessment is made on his fitness.
According to a report carried by ESPN, the 33-year-old would have had a better chance of featuring in the Test series had he flown directly to Australia with the other squad members after taking part in the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, the report further stated.
“Would have definitely increased the chances of both of them playing Test matches (Rohit and Ishant travelling to Australia with the squad from UAE). Someone like Saha who had an injury during the IPL is here doing his rehab. So we’re aware of his progress and he’s on the right path to make sure that he’s fit and available in time to play the series.
“And same would have been the case with Ishant and Rohit as well. It would have given them a chance to get themselves fit and be available for the start of the Test series.”
“Right now there’s so much uncertainty on whether they’re going to be able to make it, if they’re going to be able to make it at all or not. It definitely would have been very helpful in them getting fit if they were here and doing the rehab just like Saha is with the team to be fit for the Test series,” the Indian captain added.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the entire Test series after initially being left out of the first two Tests. Even though he had recovered from the side strain, regaining Tets match fitness and quarantine rules would make it impossible for him to participate in the third Test against Australia.