After guiding his franchise Mumbai Indians to their record-extending fifth title in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League, India’s white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma will return back to the country to recover completely from the hamstring injury he suffered during the T20 tournament. In order to achieve ‘full match fitness’, Rohit has decided not to be a part of the Indian contingent flying from Dubai to Sydney on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Indian cricket team selectors excluded 33-year-old Rohit from all three squads for the Australia tour. India are scheduled to play three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests in Down Under – between November 27 and January 19. Rohit had suffered a hamstring tear in his left leg on October 18 during Mumbai Indians league stage encounter against Kings XI Punjab. Post that, Rohit did not feature in Mumbai’s next four matches before returning to play for their last league match versus Sunrsiers Hyderabad followed by Qualifier 1 and the IPL final against Delhi Capitals, in which he was the top-scorer.

Following Rohit’s return at the Mumbai camp prior to the business end of the competition, BCCI decided to add his name in India’s revised squad for the four-match Test series against Australia. The right-hand dasher is now expected to undergo his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru upon his arrival to the country. Once he passes a fitness test, Rohit will head to Australia ahead of the Test series, which begins in Adelaide on December 17.

In the IPL 2020 final, Rohit led from the front with a 51-ball 68 as Mumbai defeated Delhi Capitals by five wickets, effortlessly chasing down a target of 157 in 18.4 overs.

Kohli Not to Return to Australia Post Paternity Break

In another major development, India captain Virat Kohli will not rejoin the Test squad once he returns to India on paternity leave following the first Test in Adelaide. Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child around early January. In order to be with his family, Kohli had requested the BCCI to release him after the Adelaide Test, which will India’s maiden overseas day-night Test from December 17 to 21.

As per the Australian government’s travel guidelines during Covid-19 pandemic, a person entering the country has to undergo a 14-day quarantine.