India captain Virat Kohli frustrated at 'lack of clarity' over Rohit Sharma injury

Ahead of first ODI against Australia, tourists' skipper insists opener should have travelled with squad to boost chances of making Test series

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - India v Pakistan - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - June 16, 2019   India's Rohit Sharma celebrates his century with Virat Kohli   Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo
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India captain Virat Kohli said he was kept in the dark about deputy Rohit Sharma's hamstring injury and believes the opener should have travelled to Australia to boost his chances of playing the upcoming Test series.

Rohit was initially ruled out of the entire Australia tour with the injury which kept him out of four Indian Premier League matches in the UAE.

The 33-year-old, however, returned to lead Mumbai Indians to a record fifth IPL title, prompting questions about the extent of his injury.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) subsequently added him to the test squad, while monitoring his recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, having deemed him still unfit to travel with the rest of the team to Australia.

"It's been very confusing and there's been a lot of uncertainty ... around the situation," Kohli said ahead of Friday's one-day series opener in Sydney.

"After that [injury], he played in the IPL, so we all thought that he was going to be on that flight to Australia, which he wasn't.

"So from the time that the selection meeting happened ... there's been no information, there's been a lack of clarity. And we've been playing the waiting game on this issue for a while now which is not ideal at all."

Like Rohit, Ishant Sharma's participation in the Test series is also uncertain as the quick bowler continues his recovery from a rib-cage injury in Bengaluru. Both should have been with the team in Australia, Kohli said.

India haven't played together since a tour of New Zealand in February, when they clinched the Twenty20 series but were whitewashed 3-0 in the ODIs.

But they can take solace from winning their last Test and ODI series in Australia two summers ago, although their key batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for ball-tampering.

"I think it's important to start well in the white-ball series," said KL Rahul, who has been elevated to vice-captain.

"We are playing for the country after a while and we are all excited to play some hard cricket, some aggressive cricket."

Kohli, meanwhile, was also unhappy with the International Cricket Council's decision to change rules to determine the finalists for next year's World Test Championship.

Taking into account matches that could not be played because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ICC has decided to rank teams based on the percentage of points won, instead of accumulated points, from completed matches.

"It's definitely surprising," said Kohli, whose team led the points table but have now slipped to second place, behind Australia, who have a higher percentage of points.

"It's happened out of nowhere and I think further questions about this should be asked to the ICC and understand why this has been done."