India's senior cricketers, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma have been ruled out of the first two Tests of the upcoming India tour of Australia 2020, ESPNcricinfo has reported.
According to the aforementioned source, both the cricketers might return for the last two Tests as they are currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru under rehabilitation, but that is something the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to work on quick.
32-year-old Ishant has regained bowling fitness, however, he still needs four weeks of workload to be ready for a Test match. Furthermore, the veteran pacer will have to leave India immediately in order to be in contention for the third Test in Sydney.
"If there is a T20 game and he needs to just bowl four overs, Ishant is good to go immediately, but for him to get back to Test-match fitness, he needs four weeks of proper bowling still," a BCCI source was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The 14-day hard quarantine rule is another massive hindrance as he can only start his training after two weeks; add another four weeks of preparatory training, and he can only be match-ready for the third Test, starting on 7 January in Sydney.
Rohit, who had suffered a hamstring tear during the Indian T20 League, is understood to be a while away from full fitness and it could take him another two weeks of rehabilitation to get to “70 or 80% fit.
Meanwhile, the other travelling members of the Indian cricket team have started training in Sydney while in quarantine and a freedom as this can be afforded to the injured duo as they are rehabilitating in a biosecure bubble at the NCA. If Rohit Sharma is ruled out, one can expect Shreyas Iyer to fill the void.
The Indian cricket team will start the Test series with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide on December 17.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran