India’s prime Test bowler Ishant Sharma is all likely to join the team after November 18 for the Test series of the Australia tour. Sharma, who missed the IPL 2020 owing to a muscle tear, is all expected to be fit before the first Test match in Adelaide. The news surfaced as opinionated by the National Cricket Academy (NCA), headed by legendary Rahul Dravid.
As per the ESPN Cricinfo, “It is understood that fast bowler Ishant Sharma will travel separately to Australia ahead of the Test series once he is declared completely fit by the NCA, where he is undergoing rehab after suffering an abdominal muscle tear during the IPL.”
However, accounting for all precautionary measures for the senior pacer, NCS said that Sharma would need to play at least one practice match before he is declared ready to bowl in the Tests.
“Recently the NCA, which is headed by the former India captain Rahul Dravid, had communicated to the BCCI that Ishant would be ready to start bowling from November 18, after which he will need to prove his match fitness.”
Also, the Indian selection committee on Monday confirmed that Ishant will be added to the Test squad once he is fully fit for the series.
“Ishant Sharma has been undergoing his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad,” BCCI said in a statement while announcing the revised squads for the Australia tour.
Notably, Team India are all set to travel down under for a two-month long tour, which will include three-match ODI series, followed by three-match T20 series and then the tour will end with four-match Test series.
India tour of Australia: Test Series Schedule
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.
Indian team to begin preparations for Test series at ICC Academy
Team India players who have been selected only for the Test Squad will begin preparations for the pink-ball Test against Australia from Friday evening at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
Sources in the know of developments in the Indian team management confirmed that while the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari have already been training at the academy, they will now start training under lights.
“The team realises the need to prepare for such an intense series and we want to use as much of our time judiciously in Dubai. We will have sessions under lights from today and with the pink ball. Today’s session will be a three-hour session approximately,” the source said.
Rohit Sharma to return to Mumbai, heading to NCA
After leading Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL title, Rohit Sharma is now set to shift focus to the Test series against Australia that gets underway from December 17 at the Adelaide Oval. And this will see the Mumbai Indians skipper hit the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and complete rehabilitation as he injured his left hamstring during the league.
“Rohit will return with the team to Mumbai and then head to the NCA as is the rule with contracted India players who are recovering from any injury. You can expect him to spend Diwali at home and then head to Bengaluru. He is an integral part of the Test team and his job will be all the more crucial as Virat Kohli is set to skip the last three Tests,” a source in the know of developments told ANI.
Paternity leave for Virat Kohli
During the selection meeting held on October 26, India captain Virat Kohli informed the BCCI he plans to return from the Australia tour after the first Test in Adelaide. His wife Anushka Sharma is pregnant and thus Kohli has been granted paternity leave.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj.