All Padded-up for Downunder: India-Aus Tour 2020

Taking Off

Rohit Sharma, who led Mumbai Indians to a record fifth IPL title and Ishant Sharma, who is recovering from internal oblique muscle tear injury at the NCA in Bengaluru, will join the team later. They both are part of the Test squad.
The selectors had added Rohit to the Test squad after initially excluding him due to the hamstring injury he sustained last month. However, he made a surprise comeback for the final league game of the IPL and went on to play two more games, including the finals.
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is also travelling with the squad after he sustained injuries to both his hamstrings during his side Sunrisers Hyderabad’s IPL game on November 3.

India will play three ODIs, three T20s and four Tests starting from November 27. The ODI and T20 series will be played in Sydney and Canberra from November 27 to December 8. The Indian team will land in Sydney where it will undergo a 14-day quarantine during which it has been allowed to train.

Player injuries has been a cause for concern to the BCCI and also for the eager fans. Majority of the India squad members were competing in the IPL and following the conclusion of their respective team’s campaign, they moved to the bio-bubble created for the national team here. Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara and the support staff had arrived here last month to enter the national team bio-bubble. The BCCI tweeted photographs of the Indian contingent before departure with the players sporting customised PPE kits for travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team is likely to wear a new jersey for the limited-overs contests in Australia. The shirts will have a retro theme inspired by the 1970s, according to a report in The Outlook. It will also have a navy blue shade instead of the sky blue color which Team India has been wearing for the last few years. Some reports claim that the Indian cricket team jersey could be similar to the uniform that India wore in 1992 during their visit to the country, which also featured the World Cup. Other than the colors, another aspect that will be changing on the jersey is the name of the kit sponsor. The new Men in Blue shirts will display the name of BCCI’s new kit sponsors MPL Sports, which replaced Nike. A 3 year deal between BCCI and MPL worth INR 120 Crore has been entered into apart from revenue sharing.

The much anticipated Test series begins with the Day-Night Test at Adelaide from December 17.

Unlike Sunil Gavaskar who had to miss his paternal duties due to an ongoing test series then, skipper Virat Kohli has been granted paternity leave after the first Test as he and his wife Anushkar Sharma are expecting their first child.

Rishikumar Mohanlal
Sources:Cricbuzz, Indian Express, BCCI, Twitter