Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians skipper, is set to play the high-intensity IPL final against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Tuesday but will be rested for the ODI and T20 Internationals in Australia to ‘regain full fitness’. The fitness update issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday makes one thing clear: Sharma has been playing for the Mumbai Indians though he is not 100 percent fit.
As things stand, Sharma will play in the final on Tuesday night but will then need a month to rest and regain ‘full fitness’. He was added to the Test team on Monday after initially not being picked for the squads for the tour to Australia because of the injury to his hamstring. The first Test is a day-night game at Adelaide and will be played from December 17 after the conclusion of the limited-over games.
The opener playing for the Mumbai Indians while his fitness was being monitored has been puzzling. “The BCCI Medical Team has been monitoring Rohit Sharma’s fitness and has briefed the All-India Senior Selection Committee on the same. In consultation with Mr Sharma, it has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness and he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” the BCCI media advisory said.
Sharma had controversially returned to captain the side in a dead rubber league game and the Qualifer 1 though India coach Ravi Shastri had warned him against rushing back and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly asking him to look beyond short-term goals to prevent aggravation of the injury.
What made it look like the selectors and Sharma were not on the same page when it came to the extent of injury was the videos posted by Mumbai Indians of him practising moments after they omitted him from the squads picked for the tour of Australia. Sharma had sustained the injury during the game against Kings XI Punjab on October 18. As he wasn’t fit enough to be picked for the national squad for a series which began a month later, he was expected to miss the rest of the IPL season.
On his return to action in the last league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sharma in his post-match comments had said ‘the hamstring is absolutely fine’.
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