Rohit cleared to join Indian squad for last two Tests
Senior batsman Rohit Sharma has cleared his fitness assessment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for the Australian Test series. He is expected to depart for Australia on December 13, however, the final call will be taken by the BCCI. It is understood that Rohit will be available for the third and fourth Test Down Under, after finishing the 14-day quarantine period.
Rohit's fitness test was monitored by Rahul Dravid
Rohit's fitness test was held under the supervision of NCA head Rahul Dravid, who was also monitoring the injured Ishant Sharma, earlier. "Rohit has cleared the fitness test and will soon be flying out to Australia," a BCCI official told PTI.
Rohit will stay in isolation during the first two Tests
Upon reaching Sydney, Rohit will undergo a 14-day quarantine in a separate hotel. He won't be in the mix for the first two Tests (December 17-21, Adelaide and December 26-30, Melbourne). After finishing the quarantine, Rohit will join the Indian squad in Melbourne. He will then be in contention for the final two Tests, in Sydney (from January 7), and Brisbane (from January 15).
His participation was subject to the rehabilitation assessment
The BCCI had initially left out Rohit from all three squads after he suffered a hamstring injury during the IPL. Although he was later added to the Test squad, he returned back home to recuperate and commence training at the NCA. Eventually, he was ruled out of the first two Tests. Notably, Rohit's participation in the remaining games was subject to his fitness.
Lack of communication regarding Rohit's status
The Indian team management faced backlash as confusion over Rohit's availability snowballed. Even the Indian skipper Virat Kohli lamented lack of clarity regarding the same. As per him, Rohit could have easily completed his rehabilitation in Australia. Pertaining to Kohli's statement on "lack of communication", the cricket board later clarified that Rohit returned back after the completion of IPL to attend his ailing father.
The inclusion of Rohit will bolster India's batting line-up
The inclusion of Rohit will certainly reinforce India's batting line-up. His presence will be of utmost importance, especially after captain Kohli returns back on paternity leave. Considering Rohit's recent resurrection in Test cricket, Rohit should be seen as a first-choice opener by the team management. Also, it remains to be seen whether he takes over the captaincy reigns from vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.