Carlton Mid Tri-series: Rohit ruled out for Australia ODI, Ishant and Jadeja available for selection
Indian captain MS Dhoni said that opener Rohit Sharma hasn’t yet recovered from the sore hamstring he sustained in their first match of the ongoing tri-series in Australia and will not be part of the Sydney ODI against the hosts tomorrow. Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, are available for selection, he confirmed.
Addressing the pre-match press conference at Sydney, Dhoni said: “Rohit is not fit for this game. Everybody else, including Ishant and Jadeja are available for selection.”
The 33-year-old, however, was quick to add that no players will be risked in the series with the ICC Cricket World Cup in mind unless and until they are fully fit. He said: “We will have to decide whether we want to give them a few more net sessions before playing them or give them a game right away. When it comes to Jadeja we will also have to monitor his throwing ability and decide whether to have him in the deep to cover the big boundaries or have him inside the circle.”
“We have so far been playing out best XI”
India have lost both their matches in the series so far, one each against Australia and England. The team has been trying out a few strategies, such as playing Virat Kohli at No. 4 and giving Stuart Binny a chance in the playing XI. When asked about the line of thinking behind the team combination, Dhoni said: “We have been playing our best XI but we have been hampered by injuries. We do look to try different things but also look to win the game. There is no point in playing someone with a niggle with so less time into the World Cup.”
“You might win the game but end up losing that player for the World Cup. I know this tournament is important but we do not want to lose our best players for the World Cup,” he added.
India have now been in Australia for close to two months and will continue to be there for a month and half, at least. While there have been concerns about what kind of an impact it could have on the team, Dhoni said that the players knew the schedule well in advance, and therefore, it wouldn’t take a toll on them.
Dhoni said: “The plus point was we knew about the schedule well in advance. It is more the mental than physical state that is important and since the guys knew about it, they had enough time to prepare themselves mentally for this busy season. Now it will be important to use the small breaks in between very well while also ensuring we spend enough time on the field.
He added: “It is important to switch off and switch on and breaks like this help you do that. In the last few days made sure that the practice sessions we have are more realistic. Give the players enough break but make sure the sessions are more purposeful. Today we will have a slightly lighter session followed by the game tomorrow.”