In a significant setback for the Indian cricket team, veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma will miss the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The right-arm quick has recovered from the side strain he picked up during IPL 2020, but the team management has not cleared him for the ICC World Test Championship series.
"Ishant has recovered completely from his side strain injury sustained during IPL 2020 in the UAE. While he's building up his workload in order to achieve Test match fitness, Mr Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy," BCCI stated in a release.
The Indian cricket governing body has also given an update on Rohit Sharma's availability for the Test series. The Indian limited-overs vice-captain will undergo an assessment at the NCA on 11th December, and the test will decide his future. It is pertinent to note that Rohit had been to Mumbai to take care of his ailing father a few days ago.
Ishant Sharma's absence will hurt India's chances in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
The Indian cricket team had made history by winning the 4-Test series during their last Australian tour. Playing under Virat Kohli's captaincy, the visitors won the series 2-1.
Unfortunately, the probability that the Indian team retains the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this year is very low given the various injury issues that the team are facing.
Skipper Virat Kohli will return home on paternity leave after the day-night Test match in Adelaide. Besides, there is a huge question mark over Rohit Sharma's availability. Ishant Sharma could have led the Indian team's bowling attack along with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Unfortunately, the duo of Shami and Bumrah will have to do the majority of the job now. For the record, Ishant Sharma has the experience of playing 13 Test matches Down Under. The Delhi-based fast bowler bowled 454.3 overs in those games, picking up 31 wickets at an economy rate of 3.31.
It will be interesting to see who takes Ishant Sharma's spot in the Indian Test squad for the series against the mighty Aussies.