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India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma returned home from UAE as his father tested COVID-19 positive: Report

India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma returned home from UAE as his father tested COVID-19 positive: Report

New Delhi, Nov 24: There's a new twist in the ongoing controversy as to why Rohit Sharma was not being included in India's squad of Australia. Earlier, it was being said that the senior India batsman hadn't recovered completely from the hamstring injury, hence he returned to India to go through rehabilitation.

However, according to senior sports journalist Boria Majumdar, fitness wasn't the issue with the Mumbaikar and that Mumbai Indians captain came back home from the UAE, after leading his IPL franchise to the fifth title, because his father contracted coronavirus.

"Rohit came to Mumbai with the Mumbai Indians because his father had Covid. That is the reality which is why he had to go back to Bombay. After that, if he did not want to play the red-ball series, there was no reason for him to travel to the NCA and he could have easily stayed back in Bombay with Ritika and family and enjoyed the fruits of success. So there's absolutely no reason to say that Rohit did not want to play the red-ball series," Boria said.

Earlier on Tuesday (November 24) it was confirmed that Rohit and pacer Ishant Sharma 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 NCA in Bengaluru, are already out of contention for the limited-overs leg of the series. They were kept in the Test squad for the series starting 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 3 to 4 weeks to get match fit," a Board source told PTI on Tuesday.

Rohit, while talking to PTI last week, had stated that his hamstring injury is fine now and he is only working on strength and conditioning to be battle-ready at the NCA.

It is now learnt that Shreyas Iyer, who is part of the limited-overs squad, could be asked to stay back as cover for Rohit.

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.

National coach Ravi Shastri had on Sunday stated that the two cricketers' chances of playing the Test series hinge on whether they are able to board a flight to Australia within this week.

The four-Test series, after the day-night opener in Adelaide, will move to Melbourne (December 26 to 30), followed by games in Sydney (January 7 to 11) and Brisbane (January 15 to 19).

India will be without skipper Virat Kohli after the first Test as he will return to the country to be there for the birth of his first child. The visitors had won the 2018-19 series 2-1.

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Story first published: Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 15:35 [IST]
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