ishant sharma cricket
Ishant Sharma (© IANS)

India pacer Ishant Sharma has recovered from an ankle injury and has reportedly passed a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru meaning he will be available for the upcoming New Zealand Test series.

“Yes, he has passed the fitness test and will join the Indian team for the Test series in New Zealand,” IANS quoted sources as saying on Saturday.

Ishant had suffered a Grade 3 tear on his right ankle while playing for Delhi in the ongoing Ranji Trophy putting his participation in the New Zealand tour in doubt.

He was advised complete rest for six weeks with Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) director Sanjay Bhardwaj ruling him out of the two-match Test series that gets underway from February 21. “He has been advised complete rest for six weeks, so there is little chance of him playing the Test series against New Zealand next month. When he goes to the National Cricket Academy will depend on his getting into a position where he can walk properly,” Bhardwaj had said.

India hadn’t announced a replacement for Ishant but the news of him attaining full fitness must have come as a relief to captain Virat Kohli ahead of the series.

The 31-year-old has played 96 Tests and taken 292 wickets in them. While he has been not played white-ball cricket for India since 2016, he’s a regular in Test cricket, establishing himself as a workhorse and leader of the attack.

The first Test starts from February 21 in Wellington while the second will be played in Christchurch. Both the matches are part of the ICC World Test Championship.