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Australia v India

Rohit Sharma to miss Sydney Test on paternity leave

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

India opener Rohit Sharma will miss the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney due to paternity leave.

Rohit left India’s tour of Australia on December 30 to attend the birth of his daughter, but will return before the ODI series between the two sides begins.

Rohit made an impressive half-century on Test return in a big Indian victory at the MCG, which saw them retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, leading 2-1 with a game to play. The BCCI has confirmed there will be no replacement player in the squad and that Rohit will re-join the group on January 8, with the ODI series set to start on January 12.

Could Hardik Pandya make a return to the Test fold?

India have multiple options in their squad to replace Rohit. They could recall one of the openers dropped for the third Test, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, and push Hanuma Vihari, who opened in Melbourne, back down to his more accustomed No.6 position.

Alternatively, they could opt to recall seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been absent through injury but flew out to join the squad after proving his fitness in Indian domestic cricket.

Parthiv Patel is another batting option, or India may choose to go into the final Test with five bowlers, promoting Ravindra Jadeja to No.7 and Rishabh Pant to No.6.

The final Test begins at Sydney on January 2, 2019.

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