Injured Rohit, Jadeja working in NCA to regain fitness
The duo's absence in Tests against the Proteas means that India will be tested on the opening front as well as in their lower-order batting and five bowlers' combination
India's white-ball captain Rohit Sharma and star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who have been ruled out of the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa due to injuries, are working at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to regain their full fitness.
The 25-member India U-19 squad is having a preparatory camp at the NCA ahead of the upcoming ACC U19 Asia Cup, scheduled to be played in the UAE from December 23. And, Delhi's Yash Dhull who is also a part of the camp and will lead India U-19 team in ACC U19 Asia Cup has shared pictures with both Rohit and Jadeja.
The duo's absence in Tests against the Proteas means that India will be tested on the opening front as well as in their lower-order batting and five bowlers' combination.
The 34-year old Rohit was named as India's full-time ODI and T20I captain by the Selection Committee on December 8 while revealing the squad for the Test series in South Africa. He was also elevated as the vice-captain in the longest format.
However, the star batter sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session in Mumbai and was ruled out of the Test series.
Priyank Panchal has replaced Sharma in the Test squad, which has reached South Africa for the series starting December 26.
On the other hand, Jadeja had suffered a right forearm injury during the first Test match in Kanpur. After undergoing scans, he was diagnosed with a swelling on his forearm.
The all-rounder was advised rest and he was ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and the South Africa series as well.
During his much-talked pre-departure virtual press conference on Wednesday, India Test skipper Virat Kohli admitted that his side will miss the services of the experienced duo in the red-ball series against South Africa.
"We will miss his (Sharma) abilities a lot. He has proven in England already that he has really worked his Test game out and the opening partnership was very important for us to play the way we did in the series. With his experience and skill, we will miss his qualities," said Kohli.
"But having said that, I think it's an opportunity for someone like Mayank (Agarwal) and KL (Rahul) to step up and solidify that start that we got in the last series and make sure that the good work is carried on in this series as well," he added.
Coming to Jadeja, Kohli believes that the all-rounder makes valuable contributions in all three departments of the game but his absence will not be a 'deciding factor' in the series.
"Jadeja has obviously been a very, very important player for us. He contributes in all three departments of the game, which is invaluable especially in overseas conditions. He will be missed," Kohli said.
"But having said that, we do have quality in the side to be able to create the best combination possible on the field for us and still be in positions to win Test matches because we have created that kind of bench strength and environment where people coming in are seizing their opportunity and making sure the team is helped by their performances.
"As much as we will miss him, I don't think that will be a deciding factor in the series or moving forward. He is injured and I wish him a speedy recovery and that he comes back soon," he added.
India will play three Tests and as many ODIs from December 26 to January 23 in South Africa.