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India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma to skip fourth Test in Sydney; Flies down to be with wife and newborn

Skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have decided against asking for a replacement for the final game of the series, starting January 3.

cricket Updated: Dec 31, 2018 12:49 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ind vs aus,india vs australia,rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma plays a shot as Australia's wicketkeeper Tim Paine (right) looks on during day two of the third Test.(AFP)

Team India will miss the services of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma for the fourth and final Test of the series against Australia in Sydney as he has flown back to be with wife Ritika Sajdeh after the birth of their first child. Rohit and Ritika have been blessed with a baby girl. Skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are yet to decide on whether they will ask for a replacement for the final game of the series, starting January 3.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a BCCI official in the know of developments confirmed that Rohit is not going to return before the final Test of the series. “No, he will not be back in time for the fourth Test. He has already left for India after the game in Melbourne. He will be back for the ODIs, starting after the Test series. The team management has decided against asking for a replacement,” he informed.

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Rohit hit a quality fifty in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test and finished with an unbeaten 63 after missing the second Test of the series in Perth due to injury. Having had an inconsistent run in the longer format, he started the Test series in Australia in style and hit a quick 37 before being dismissed by Nathan Lyon against the run of play.

While India took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four match series in Melbourne, skipper Kohli has already made his intentions clear and said that there was no putting the foot off the pedal going into the game in Sydney. “We are not going to stop here. This (win) will give us more confidence and we will play more positively in Sydney. I think we have been really smart in all the departments in the two matches that we have won. That is the reason we have at least retained the trophy but job is not done yet. It’s not finished at all. We want to win the last Test match as well, if an opportunity comes our way. We don’t want to be complacent. We are all but ready for the final Test match,” he said.

Thanks to the brilliant win, Kohli and boys became the first Indian team in 41 years to win two Test matches in a series against Australia in an away series. It was last witnessed in 1977-78 tour under the leadership of Bishan Singh Bedi. India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs with Australia bouncing back to claim the second in Perth by 146 runs. This win leaves India zeroing in on a first-ever series win in Australia with just the Sydney Test to go.

First Published: Dec 31, 2018 10:50 IST