India opener Rohit Sharma and pacer Ishant Sharma’s fate lies in the hands of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, as he will negotiate quarantine terms with Cricket Australia as the duo need relaxation in rules if they are to be a part of the Test series against Australia, starting December 17. Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said that Ganguly will discuss the situation with Cricket Australia and look to find a solution to the issue, as the two cricketers are undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru with an eye on the four-Test series.
“The BCCI president will be speaking to his counterpart at Cricket Australia and a decision will be reached after their meeting. The current quarantine guidelines might make it impossible for the two to reach Australia, and be a part of the Test series as under existing rules, they will need to completely isolate themselves and cannot train in the quarantine period.”
“The rest of the Indian cricketers were allowed to train during the quarantine period because they moved from one bubble – in Dubai – to the other – in Sydney. So, a relaxation will be needed if the two are to be a part of the Test series,” the source explained.
Those in the know of how the former India skipper functions believe that only Ganguly can eke out a solution in the current scenario, as he has so many times in the past on the cricket pitch.
The course of Rohit and Ishant’s rehabilitation at the NCA has been nothing short of a mystery novel with fresh twists and turns every day. While NCA head Rahul Dravid had earlier said that Ishant would be fit in time for the Tests, there are now questions on whether he would be ready for the rigours of Test cricket.
Even in Rohit’s case, the batsman looks like he will need a couple of days more before he can be a 100 per cent, and every day spent at the NCA means one day closer to the opening day of the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval.
While Ishant had travelled to NCA mid-way into the IPL, Rohit reached the NCA last Thursday as he looked to complete rehabilitation after he injured his left hamstring, during the recently concluded Indian Premier League in UAE.
ANI had reported on November 11 — the day after Mumbai Indians lifted the IPL trophy for the fifth time — that while the Indian players who were part of the IPL final on November 10, moved into the bubble for the national team that very night, Rohit was set to fly back to India and head to the NCA to complete his rehab.
The BCCI had also informed the media of the decision to add Rohit to the squad for the Test series, after initially excluding him from the tour due to the hamstring injury.
“The BCCI Medical Team has been monitoring Rohit Sharma’s fitness and has briefed All-India Senior Selection Committee on the same. In consultation with Sharma, it has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness and he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” the BCCI said in a release on November 9.
The first Test is set to be played under lights from December 17 to 21 at the Adelaide Oval. The second is the Boxing Day Test which will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26 to 30. The third Test will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7 to 11 and the final Test at the Gabba from January 15 to 19.
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