BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that opener Rohit Sharma has only been included in India's Test squad for the Australia tour because he is still not fully fit.
“Rohit is still 70 per cent (fit),” Ganguly told The Week magazine, dismissing criticism of the board’s handling of player injuries.
“That is why he is still not picked for the ODIs and T20s Down Under. He has been added to the test squad.”
He further added that wicketkeeper-batsman, Wriddhiman Saha, is currently nursing a double hamstring injury, but expects him to be fit by the time the Test series kicks off. Saha injured his hamstring during the recently concluded Indian T20 League which forced him to miss the playoffs in the United Arab Emirates. The BCCI, last week, announced a revised squad for India's full-fledged tour of Australia where it confirmed that it would take a late call on Saha's availability.
“I think people don’t know how the BCCI works,” Ganguly said.
“The BCCI trainers, physio and Wriddhi himself know that he has two hamstring issues.”
“Wriddhi is travelling to Australia because he will be fit for tests. He is not part of the shorter formats.”
The revised squad sees Sanju Samson returning to the ODI set-up, while captain Virat Kohli will be allowed to travel back to India after the first Test to attend the birth of his first child.
India's tour of Australia kicks off with three ODIs from November 27, followed by T20s from December 4 before the first of the four Tests starts on December 17.
India's T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.
India's ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper).
India's Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Michael Bradley