rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma (AFP Photo)

Rohit Sharma will not be part of India‘s Playing XI for the fourth and final Test against Australia as he is flying back attend the birth of his first child.

India regained their lead in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy with an emphatic 137-run win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.

Rohit played two Tests on the tour, scoring half-century at the MCG in India’s first innings. In four innings, the middle-order batsman scored 106 runs at 35.33 with a highest score of 63 not out.

“It would’ve been great to have him (Rohit) around,” The Times of India quoted a source as saying on Monday. “Tactically, he brings so much to the side and then his batting provides the right kind of balance to the side. But what awaits him is far bigger and more important.”

The Test series is set for an interesting finish with India within touching distance of claiming their first win on Australian soil. They won the first Test in Adelaide to go 1-0. However, on the bouncy track of Perth, they were beaten with the hosts drawing level before the tourists bounced back in Melbourne to retain the trophy.

Rohit’s absence opens doors for Hardik Pandya who flew to Australia midway through the series after having fully recovered from a back injury he sustained during 2018 Asia Cup in the UAE. However, India might be tempted to play an extra spinner in either Ravichandran Ashwin or Kuldeep Yadav considering the spin-friendly nature of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Australia too have summoned a legspinning allrounder in Marnus Labuschagne in their squad for the final Test which gets underway from January 3.