Fit-again India batsman Rohit cleared to fly to Australia

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Cricket – ICC Cricket World Cup – Bangladesh v India – Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain – July 2, 2019 India’s Rohit Sharma gestures as he walks off after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India batsman Rohit Sharma has recovered from a hamstring injury and will fly to Australia to join the test squad Down Under, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said on Saturday.

Rohit was initially ruled out of the entire Australia tour with a high-grade left hamstring injury, which kept him out of four Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the United Arab Emirates.

The 33-year-old, who opens the batting for India, returned to lead the Mumbai Indians to a record fifth IPL title, prompting questions about the extent of his injury.

The BCCI subsequently added him to the test squad, while monitoring his recovery at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, having deemed him still unfit to travel with the rest of the team to Australia.

“The NCA medical Team was satisfied with the physical fitness of Mr Sharma after assessing him on different metrics that tested his skills related to batting, fielding and running between the wickets,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

“Mr Sharma’s physical fitness has been satisfactory, however, he will be required to continue work on his endurance.”

Rohit will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in Australia, which will rule him out of the first two tests in Adelaide and Melbourne.

“He has been given a detailed programme to follow for the duration of the two weeks he will be quarantined for,” Shah added.

“He will be reassessed by the Team India medical team post his quarantine to establish his fitness status and a call on his participation in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be taken accordingly.”

Rohit will be a welcome addition for India with captain and batting mainstay Virat Kohli set to return home for the birth of his child at the conclusion of the match in Adelaide, which starts on Thursday.

There is a gap of seven days between the end of the Boxing Day test in Melbourne and the start of the third test in Sydney from Jan. 7, which should allow Rohit enough time to integrate with the squad.

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