Rohit Sharma joined the Indian team in Melbourne on Wednesday after completing his two-week quarantine in Sydney, bolstering the tourists who are on a high after scripting an incredible comeback in the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia.
Days after recording their lowest Test total of 36 in the series opener in Adelaide, India staged a turnaround to defeat Australia by eights wickets and level the series 1-1. Sharma's inclusion will strengthen the team that is without regular captain Virat Kohli and fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who left the tour for paternity leave and injury respectively.
"So how was your quarantine, my friend," chief coach Ravi Shastri was heard asking Sharma in a video posted by BCCI.
Sharma exchanged greetings with the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj and batting coach Vikram Rathour.
Shastri had said on Tuesday the medical team will look at how Sharma is physically after completing his quarantine before a call is taken on his inclusion in the playing XI for the third Test which starts on January 7 in Sydney.
"We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been in quarantine for the last couple of weeks. We'll also see how he feels before we take the call," Shastri had said in the post-match press conference after India's win.
On December 11, the BCCI had announced that the opener cleared the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, paving the way for his departure for Australia ahead of the four-Test series. Sharma had sustained a hamstring injury during the IPL, which led to him missing the white-ball leg and the first two Tests of the ongoing tour.
It remains to be seen who makes way for Sharma - if he plays - from the side that beat Australia in the second Test. Sunil Gavaskar has backed Sharma to open the batting with the young Shubman Gill in Sydney.