Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma is set to fly to Australia over the weekend as the National Cricket Academy (NCA) cleared him following a final assessment. The assessment included both his skills and fitness tests. Rohit Sharma will take a chartered flight from Mumbai to Dubai, from where he will reach the final destination which is of Sydney to be eligible for the last two Tests.
Rohit Sharma has to fulfil the quarantine rule of 14 days after reaching Sydney in a facility separate from the team’s bio-secure bubble. The requirement to stay in isolation is the only factor that will prevent him from being in contention for the first two Tests (the first Test starts on the 17th in Adelaide and the second begins from the 26th in Melbourne). The 33-year old will likely link up with the squad after Christmas in Melbourne, subject to the travel restrictions between Sydney and Melbourne. The final two Tests will take place in Sydney from the 3rd of January and Brisbane from the 15th of January.
The addition of the right-handed batsman is indeed a massive boost for India, especially since Virat Kohli will miss the last three Tests. The Indian captain will return home after the day and night Test in Adelaide to be with his wife as the couple is expecting their first child in January. The inclusion of Sharma will benefit the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, who were otherwise expected to do the bulk of run-scoring against a challenging bowling attack.
Rohit Sharma earlier passed the fitness test:
Rohit Sharma’s fitness topic has become a point of massive debate as the BCCI maintained a lack of clarity on the subject with not even informing the captain Virat Kohli about the same. The right-handed batsman picked up an injury during the IPL 2020 but returned for the final stages of the tournament after the selectors left him out of all three squads for Australia’s tour.
He subsequently made it to the Test squad for the last two matches, subject to how his recovery process at the NCA panned out. He travelled to NCA in Bangalore in mid-November for his rehab and left for Mumbai on Thursday. Fortunately, he has passed the fitness test conducted on the 11th of December and has received clearance to fly to Australia.