More than 24 hours after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squads for India’s forthcoming tour to Australia, the mystery over Rohit Sharma’s exclusion from the squad for all three formats seems to have compounded.
Rohit, India’s vice-captain in ODIs and T20Is, has missed Mumbai Indians’ last two games in the Indian Premier League owing to a left hamstring injury, as made official by his franchise.
Since then, there has been no word on Rohit’s fitness. But minutes after the BCCI announced the squads on Monday evening, stating that the BCCI’s medical team “will continue to monitor the progress of Rohit”, the batsman had a full-fledged batting session in UAE. In fact, the manner in which Mumbai Indians put out an edited video of his batting across its social media handles gave rise to speculation on whether Rohit was making a statement with the bat.
Barring the one-line update in the BCCI statement, there has been no explanation from anyone involved in the team. The player himself, the selectors, the BCCI, even the franchise have remained tightlipped over Rohit’s exclusion. As legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar so eloquently put it in Monday’s post-match show on Star Sports, the fans deserve to know the reasons behind Rohit not being in the team for Australia. Instead of being transparent, the Indian cricket machinery has continued to operate in conspicuous ways.
Was Rohit omitted from limited-overs squads due to the injury or does he not meet fitness criteria for international cricket? Did he make himself unavailable, citing the life in a bio-bubble, possibly without the family in Australia? Or was he ruled out of the ODIs and T20Is due to fitness concerns and was not considered for Tests? To add to it, is it the end of Rohit’s IPL campaign?
Hopefully, the BCCI, headed by a former India captain, will put an end to all the questions soon.