Melbourne: Star batsman Rohit Sharma on Wednesday joined the Indian team here after completing his two-week quarantine in Sydney, bolstering the tourists who are on a high after scripting an incredible comeback in the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia.
Days after recording their lowest Test total of 36 in the series-opener in Adelaide, the Indian team staged a remarkable turnaround to humble Australia by eights wickets and level the rubber at the MCG.
Rohit's inclusion will strengthen the team that was going through one of its worst phases last week.
"So how was your quarantine, my friend," chief coach Ravi Shastri was heard asking Rohit in a video posted by BCCI.
The batsman was heard saying he is feeling younger.
Rohit exchanged greetings with the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj and batting coach Vikram Rathour.
Look who's joined the squad in Melbourne
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 30, 2020
Shastri said the medical team will look at how the player is physically after completing his quarantine before a call is taken on his inclusion in the playing XI for the third Test against Australia in Sydney.
The third Test is scheduled to be played from 7 January.
"We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been in quarantine for the last couple of weeks. We'll also see how he feels before we take the call," Shastri had said in the post-match press conference after India's win on Tuesday.
On 11 December, the BCCI had announced that the opener cleared the eagerly-watched fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, paving the way for his departure for Australia ahead of the four-Test series.
Rohit had sustained a hamstring injury during the IPL, which led to him missing the white-ball leg and the first two Tests of the ongoing tour.
It remains to be seen who makes way for Rohit from the side that trounced Australia in the second Test.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar has backed the swashbuckling Mumbaikar to open the batting with the young Shubman Gill in Sydney.
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Given the nature of the last few series between these teams, it would be naive to think too far ahead; but all factors considered, India will know they have some clawing back to do when they step out at the SCG on day two.
Mohammed Siraj, who made a startling debut in the second Test victory when he took five wickets, made the tough decision to stay with the Indian squad after his father died in November.
The Indian team has turned into a mini-hospital with multiple players nursing injuries, so much so that it became difficult to field a fit playing XI for the fourth Test which began on Friday.