Captain seen at Mumbai Indians nets but his availability for rest of tournament uncertain.
A day before they selected the team for the tour of Australia, it is learnt that the selectors were informed by Indian team physiotherapist Nitin Patel that Rohit Sharma will not be available for selection. Patel submitted a detailed medical report. When BCCI announced the Indian squad, a footnote stated that the medical team will monitor the progress made by Rohit and Ishant Sharma.
However, the Indian board and selectors were surprised when Mumbai Indians tweeted out pictures of Rohit batting at nets hours after the team was announced. The selection committee was under the impression that Rohit will miss IPL games in order to get fit for the Australia tour. The Indian team is scheduled to play its first game in Australia on November 27. It remains to be seen if Rohit will take any further part in the IPL.
Patel had consulted two other specialist doctors on Rohit’s injury and both advised rest for three more weeks, sources in the board said. A medical report was submitted to the selection panel headed by former India spinner Sunil Joshi. The five-member committee went by Patel’s expert advice and didn’t name Rohit in the squad.
“Patel had submitted a detailed fitness report of every player. It’s a normal procedure where the Indian team physio informs the board and selection committee about which player is fit and which player is not. The selectors were informed that Rohit will not be available for selection due to injury. He even submitted two expert doctors’ advice who both said Rohit needs rest for two to three weeks,” a BCCI official said.
The pictures and video shared by Mumbai Indians triggered a storm of criticism. “If he is in the nets, then honestly I don’t know what kind of injury it is. I think a little bit of transparency, a little bit of openness about what actually is the problem with him will help everybody,” former India captain Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports, a sentiment shared by many fans on social media.
The selection committee and Indian board now say that they had no clue about Rohit resuming batting practice. He had suffered the injury on October 18, during Mumbai Indians’ game against Kings XI Punjab and hasn’t played since.
Hopeful that Rohit can travel to Australia with team
The Indian board is hopeful that Rohit will continue to recover and can join the rest of the team and travel to Australia at the end of the IPL. With a bio-secure bubble and air-bubbles planned for the chartered flight from Dubai to Australia, they are hopeful that he can travel with the team.
It will also help Rohit to quarantine and stay in the bubble with the rest of the team in Australia, recover from his injury, and train there. Once fit, he can play the practice games and get match-fit, a luxury that won’t be available to him in India.
“The injury as of now is manageable. We are hopeful that he can travel with the team. He can continue to be in the bio- bubble with the team, in air-travel and in the Australian hotel. That’s the plan, still,” the source said.
This is the second time this year that Rohit has been sidelined by injury. He had to return midway from New Zealand in February, and miss the ODI and Test series due to an injury on his left calf.
Three selectors’ terms end
The BCCI has informed three selectors – Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi – that their terms have ended and their services won’t be required further. These three selectors have completed their four-year terms in the senior committee. BCCI will now invite applications for selectors in the coming months to fill up the three posts. With no India A tours and no international assignments in the near future, the board will take its time in having a new appointee in place.
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