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New dad Rohit Sharma to miss Sydney Test

Rohit Sharma pulls of the front foot Getty Images

Rohit Sharma will miss the New Year's Test in Sydney to attend to his wife, who gave birth to a baby daughter on Sunday. Rohit left for Mumbai on Sunday, and will only return to Australia on January 8 to join the ODI squad. The Sydney Test is scheduled to run from January 3 to 7.

The selectors have not named a replacement for Rohit in the Test squad. Rohit, who missed the second Test in Perth with a lower-back injury, played the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, scoring an unbeaten 63 in the first innings.

His return to the side at No. 6 pushed Hanuma Vihari up the order to open alongside debutant Mayank Agarwal, with India dropping both their openers from the Perth Test, M Vijay and KL Rahul.

In Rohit's absence, India have a number of options for the Sydney Test. Vihari could return to the middle order with either Vijay or Rahul coming back into the side, or the seam-bowling allrounder Hardik Pandya could directly replace Rohit at No. 6. If the Sydney pitch looks conducive to spin, another option, if the offspinner R Ashwin has regained full fitness after missing the last two Tests with a side strain, could be to go in with two spinners, Ravindra Jadeja being the other, and three fast bowlers.