AUSvIND: Rohit Sharma to join the Test squad today
India's head coach Ravi Shastri has revealed that senior batsman Rohit Sharma will join the Test squad today. Rohit, who was in quarantine for the last two weeks, will be assessed for his fitness before a final call is taken. In another development, Cricket Australia has confirmed that the third Test will be held in Sydney, despite a fresh outbreak of the COVID-19 cluster.
Here is what Shastri said on Rohit's availability
Shastri spoke on Rohit's availability after India won the MCG Test. "Rohit Sharma will join the team tomorrow. We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been in quarantine for the last couple of weeks. We will also see how he feels before we take the call," he said in the post-match conference.
The lack of clarity over his fitness status
Rohit arrived in Australia on December 16 before completing his 14-day quarantine. Prior to that, the "miscommunication" over his status continued for weeks. The BCCI had initially left him out from all squads for Australian tour, considering his hamstring injury. Although he was later added to the Test squad, he returned back home to recuperate. Eventually, he made the cut for final two Tests.
Rohit to bolster India's batting line-up
The inclusion of Rohit will reinforce India's batting line-up in the rest of Tests. He will certainly be a big plus for India at the top. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal is expected to open the innings alongside the former. In this case, youngster Shubman Gill might be demoted to the middle-order. Notably, middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari could end up losing his spot.
SCG will remain the venue for third Test
Notably, Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed that the third Test between the two sides, starting January 7, will be held in Sydney, despite a fresh outbreak of the COVID-19 cluster in New South Wales. Cricket Australia interim CEO, Nick Hockley, stated that the decision was taken after several rounds of meetings, considering the impact of the recent outbreak.
CA on track to deliver the series as scheduled: Hockley
"Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted to say Cricket Australia remains on track to deliver the men's international series as scheduled," said Hockley on the venue for third Test.
The four-Test series is leveled at 1-1
After losing the series opener, Team India audaciously bounced back in the Boxing Day Test to level the Border-Gavaskar series 1-1. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane's first-innings ton stood out as the visitors registered an eight-wicket victory over Australia. It will be interesting to see how things shape as the upcoming SCG Test could well turn out to be the series-defining game for both the teams.