Gavaskar intrigued by extent of Rohit harm earlier than Australia tour

NEW DELHI, October 27

The extent of Rohit Sharma’s hamstring injury has intrigued batting great Sunil Gavaskar after the opener was seen practising on Monday, hours after his omission from India’s tour of Australia on fitness grounds. Mumbai Indians captain Rohit missed his team’s last two matches in the IPL currently underway in the UAE with the injury.

The selectors omitted him from both the Test and limited-overs squads and the cricket board (BCCI) said its medical team would “continue to monitor the progress” without elaborating on the injury. Hours later, Mumbai Indians posted a video of their captain practising “in full flow” in Abu Dhabi, which baffled many.

“We are talking about the Test matches, which are a month-and-a-half way,” Gavaskar told IPL broadcaster Star Sports after Monday’s match. “If he is practising in the nets for Mumbai Indians, 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.”

Indian team players usually don’t comment on team selection matters. India and Australia will lock horns in a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in December-January, which will be preceded by six short-form Internationals.

India have named Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul and Shubman Gill in the Test squad and one of them could partner Mayank Agarwal at the top of the batting order. Agarwal’s own fitness is not beyond doubt but the BCCI was characteristically taciturn about it when naming the opener in all three squads. The 29-year-old has missed Kings XI Punjab’s last two IPL matches and Gavaskar criticised the lack of clarity around Agarwal’s suspected leg injury.

“For an Indian cricket fan, they ought to know what happens to two of their key players,” the former India captain said. — Reuters

Crowds at India-Oz Boxing Day Test in Melbourne?

MELBOURNE: Melbourne’s liberation from its Covid-19 lockdown has boosted hopes of crowds attending some of Australia’s major sporting events in the country’s second-biggest city. The Australian men’s cricket team is slated to host India in the traditional Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26, while the world’s top tennis players are due to play the Australian Open in January. “I am very confident we’ll get a crowd at the ‘G (MCG) for the Boxing Day Test,” Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said. “I don’t know how big it will be but there will be a crowd there. That is the advice I have and that is what we’re working towards.” The 100,000-seat MCG drew more than 80,000 fans to Day 1 of Australia’s Boxing Day Test against New Zealand last year. India had recorded a 137-run win at the MCG in the 2018-19 tour. Agencies

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