Ravi Shastri has revealed that India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma was never going to play white-ball series against Australia, with the Test series around the corner. He also added that Ishant Sharma and Rohit will have to arrive in four-five days if they are to feature in the Test series Down Under.
Ahead of India’s much-awaited series against Australia, the visitors have been sweating over the fitness of two of their key players in the longest format - Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma, both of whom are recovering from their injuries. While it was reported that Ishant has already cleared the fitness tests, an update on Rohit is yet to come from the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
India’s head coach Ravi Shastri has cleared the rumours, revealing that the right-handed Mumbaikar was never going to play the white-ball series. He also added that if he has to play in the Test series, he has to arrive Down Under within the next four or five days and otherwise, it would be tough to feature in the series.
"He was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest, because you can't afford to be resting for too long. If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you've got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren't, then it's going to be tough," Shastri said of Rohit, speaking to ABC Sport, reported ESPNCricinfo.
Shastri also stated that Rohit is currently going through some tests at NCA, and once he clears them, he'll be on the flight to Australia. However, he also suggested that if the wait is too long, it might be difficult for the duo to come in time for the Test series.
"He's going through some tests at the NCA and they're obviously going to decide [for] how long he needs to take a break. But things could get difficult if he's asked to wait for too long, [because] then you're talking of the quarantine again, which might make it really tough for even him to come just in time for the Test series," he added.
Alongside that, the former Indian all-rounder also credited Virat Kohli’s leadership as the driving force behind India’s success in World cricket. While admitting that his presence will be missed after the first Test, Shastri reckoned that it gives opportunities to young guys in the team to take their chances against Australia.
"If you see where India have gone in the last five-six years, there's no doubt in absolutely anyone's mind that he's the driving force and the man behind it (India's success). So he obviously would be missed. But like I say, in adversity comes opportunity. There are lot of young guys in the side and it's an opportunity for them."