Indian pacer Ishant Sharma, who flew back home from IPL after sustaining a muscle tear, is reportedly set to be fit for the Tests against Australia, which will commence from December. Ishant, who is currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bangalore, is expected to start bowling from November 18.
Having served as India’s most consistent Test bowler since the start of 2018, Ishant Sharma was expected to play a key role in the Virat Kohli-led side's quest in retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy. However, the 32-year-old, who featured for Delhi Capitals in just one game in IPL 2020, sustained an injury a fortnight ago which subsequently ruled him out of the entirety of the T20 bonanza. The Capitals confirmed that Ishant had “sustained a left internal oblique muscle tear” and thus the injury invoked fear that the right-armer could miss out on the tour of Australia, that is set to follow the IPL.
But in a huge boost for team India’s chances, Ishant is expected to recover in time for the Australia Tests. According to an ESPN Cricinfo report, Ishant, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, is said to be making great progress in his recovery and is expected to start bowling from November 18.
This, as per the report, was communicated to the BCCI by Rahul Dravid, who is the incumbent head of the academy. It is also believed that the NCA have warned BCCI that Ishant would need to get through at least one practice match before being declared fit to partake in the Test series.
A final decision on Ishant’s availability is expected anytime now, with the Indian selection committee, headed by Sunil Joshi, primed to announce the squad for the tour of Australia. The selection committee will be wary of Ishant’s fitness, though, as a similar scenario ensued eight months ago in the tour of New Zealand, wherein the pacer, after being rushed to first-team action, sustained an injury after playing the first Test and hence sat out the second game in Christchurch where team India received a drubbing.