Rohit Sharma provides crucial squad update for IND vs AUS 3rd ODI: “Gill rested; Shami, Hardik, Shardul have gone home”
Team India captain Rohit Sharma has revealed that only 13 players are available for selection for the third and final ODI of the series against Australia in Rajkot on Wednesday. While opener Shubman Gill has been rested, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Shardul Thakur have gone home for different reasons.
India are 2-0 up in the three-match series and will look to complete a clean sweep in Rajkot. However, while Rohit and Virat Kohli are back after being rested for the first two matches, the captain stated that there is a lot of uncertainty around the team due to fitness and sickness issues and some players facing personal problems.
Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the Rajkot ODI, Rohit provided a detailed picture of the concerns around the squad.
“We’ve got lot of players who are sick, not available; lot of players have personal problems, so they have gone home. A few of the guys are rested. We have got 13 players at this point in time. Gill has been rested; Shami, Hardik, Shardul, they have all gone home. Hardik has gone home - again personal things. Axar obviously is not available for this game. We’ve got only 13 players to choose from. There is a bit of viral going around in the team as well," the skipper said.
The 36-year-old added that players have been given breaks since it is important to have them in shape for the World Cup, mentally and physically.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in the team at this point, which we cannot help. Looking at the next few weeks, it’s quite important for us to look after the players and their well-being. It’s okay for them to be home at this point in time - the reason being we want everybody to be fresh during the World Cup and hopefully they can come back fresh," Rohit explained.
KL Rahul led the team in Rohit’s absence in the first two ODIs. The Men in Blue won the first match by five wickets and the second by 99 runs [DLS method].
“I am very happy with the last 10 ODIs we have played” - Rohit Sharma
Team India have demonstrated excellent form in one-day cricket heading into the World Cup. They lifted the Asia Cup in a thumping fashion and have clearly been the better side in the ongoing series.
Rohit asserted that he is pleased with the kind of performances they have come up with recently.
“I am very happy with the last 10 ODIs we have played. A lot of guys came back to form, scoring lots of runs and the bowlers taking lot of wickets. In the last few games, we saw guys who have come back from injuries as well. They have proven their fitness, so we are pretty much settled at this point in time. It’s just now about taking this whole situation of the team forward in the best possible way,” the Indian skipper said.
“Having said that, I know that this is a sport where you need to keep improving as players. We will try to understand the learnings from these last 10 ODIs,” Rohit concluded.
After the Rajkot ODI, India and Australia will meet again in their opening World Cup encounter in Chennai on October 8.