New Delhi, November 24
The news that both Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma could miss the first two Tests against Australia due to injuries they suffered in the IPL has raised an important question: Just who is responsible for ensuring players do not play on despite injuries in the IPL?
Their primary employer is the BCCI — or India — but many of them play on despite injuries in the IPL, either due to pressure from their IPL team, or because of their own self-analysis that a mere 20-over game won’t affect their injury. That seemed to be the case with Rohit Sharma, who played for Mumbai Indians despite suffering a hamstring injury — his belief was that since it was only T20 cricket, he could play on after reaching some level of fitness. “I told them (Mumbai Indians) that I can take the field since it is the shortest format and I will be able to manage the situation quite nicely,” Rohit said recently regarding playing on in the IPL despite his injury.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly recently said Rohit was still “70% fit”, but Rohit said he was OK. Former India opener Aakash Chopra asked a relevant question: “… if he is playing on 10th November and scoring 68 runs, if he is fit and running, then why is he not fit for the 27th?” Rohit was excluded from the limited-overs leg of the tour of Australia, which begins on November 27.
Missing from action
A BCCI source said that Rohit and pacer Ishant will miss the first two Tests against Australia and are also doubtful for the remaining two after it was conveyed to the BCCI that the duo will require close to a month to be match-fit.
The two, who are undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, were kept in the squad for the Tests series, which starts on December 17, but tough quarantine rules have made their availability uncertain. “The NCA has given a report that both Rohit and Ishant will take at least another three-four weeks to get match fit,” a BCCI source told PTI.
“Even if they travel now they will have ‘hard quarantine’ since they will travel by commercial flight. Hard quarantine means not being able to train during the 14 days like the whole team,” the source said. “So, now if only Cricket Australia can convince the government and allow them to train during quarantine.”
The Indian team, which landed here after the IPL earlier this month on a chartered flight, was allowed to train in quarantine as Australia battled a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases. — TNS, PTI