Rohit Sharma will fly to Melbourne from Sydney on Wednesday to join the Indian squad for the remaining two Tests against Australia. He will enter the biosecure bubble ahead of the third Test at SCG.
“Yes, he will be flown to Melbourne by CA on Wednesday as the third game is almost set to take place at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) with an eye on the coronavirus outbreak,” an official told ANI.
Rohit’s addition to the Indian team will be a big boost to the Ajinkya Rahane-led side who defeated the Aussies by 8 wickets in the Boxing Day Test to level the four-match series in Melbourne.
The right-handed opener has been out of action since the 2020 IPL final as he was nursing a hamstring injury and only arrived in Australia after clearing his fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
“We’re excited about Rohit coming back”: Rahane
In the post-match presentation at the MCG, stand-in captain and ‘Player of the match’ Rahane said that his team and Rohit both are excited about the experienced campaigner joining the squad.
“We’re excited about Rohit coming back. Spoke to him yesterday, he’s waiting to join the team,” said Rahane after his team’s emphatic win.
It will be interesting to see who will make way for Rohit from the winning side that fielded in the second Test.
Former cricketers and experts also believe that Rohit will certainly be picked in the playing XI but are divided upon whom the Mumbaikar will replace.
According to legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Rohit will either replace out-of-form opener Mayank Agarwal or middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari. Gavaskar opined that Rohit should open India’s innings in the third Test and backed young Shubman Gill as Rohit’s opening partner. And if team management wishes to give the Karnataka lad a longer rope, then he could open along with Rohit, in such case, Gill can be asked to bat at No. 5 and Vihari gets benched.
However, Zaheer Khan and Ajay Jadeja – while speaking at Sony Sports and Pictures Network – suggested that India should stick with both Agarwal and Vihari, and show confidence in them.
Instead, they suggested if conditions at SCG are good for batsmen, then the team management should bring Rohit in place of injured Umesh Yadav. The 33-year-old pacer was ruled out of the remaining Boxing Day Test after suffering a calf injury in the second innings. According to Zaheer, India can go with four bowlers, i.e. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.