Former India cricketer and the current BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, has finally spoken on Rohit Sharma’s presence for the tour of Australia that will commence from November 27. Rohit was not picked into the squad for ODIs, Tests and T20Is after he suffered a hamstring during the concurrent season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE.
The 33-year-old hasn’t played any game since Mumbai Indians’ double super-over match versus Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, on October 18. Kieron Pollard, who is among the senior members of the four-time IPL champions and recently led the Trinbago Knight Riders to a titular win in CPL 2020, has been the skipper since Rohit’s absence.
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Indian pacer Ishant Sharma had played just a solitary game in IPL 2020 that too against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He then suffered an abdominal injury during the training sessions and as a result, he was ruled out of the entire IPL 2020.
Ganguly mentioned that while Ishant Sharma will be under the monitor for the Test series, Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, would be made available for selection for the entire tour, if found fit.
“We are monitoring Ishant and Rohit. Ishant is not completely out. He will become a part of the Test series. With Rohit, we want him fit for Australia. At some stage if he is fit, I am sure the selectors will rethink his position,” Ganguly was quoted saying in a recent interview to Hindustan Times.
It’s a 50-50 chance for both the teams, says Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly feels that beating Australia in their own conditions wouldn’t be easy, especially, with Steve Smith and David Warner back into the side. Not to mention, the presence of Australia’s rising star – Marnus Labuschagne – who has been raking immense acclaim since Ashes 2019.
“Australia in Australia is always tough. They will be a lot stronger with Smith and Warner back. Players like Labuschagne have become better. It will be a good test for India, but they are capable of winning. It will be a good series. It is a 50-50 chance for both teams. Runs on the board will be important. Whoever bats well will win the series,” said the 48-year-old.
“India has the pace attack to match Australia. There is (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Navdeep) Saini. The attack is as good as Australia’s,” added Sourav.
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In the previous tour of Australia, the Indian cricket team had won the ODIs and Tests by 2-1 each while drawing the 3-match T20Is by 1-1.
This would be India’s return to international cricket amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Virat Kohli-led side last played in February earlier this year during India’s tour of New Zealand.