Hours after India captain Virat Kohli revealed that the team management was confounded by the absence of both Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma in Australia, the BCCI sent a media release on Thursday midnight, stating that the batsman still remains in contention, but seamer has been ruled out of the four-match Test series starting in December.

Kohli had said he was unaware why both players were not in Australia where they could have continued their rehab and put themselves in a position to be available for the Test series, which is scheduled to start in Adelaide from December 17. Both Rohit and Ishant, who are currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, had recently been ruled out of the first two Tests in Australia.

In the media release issued on Thursday, the BCCI said Rohit had to return to Mumbai after the IPL to attend to his "ailing" father. "He [Rohit] is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA," the release said. "Mr Rohit Sharma's next assessment will be conducted on December 11th following which the BCCI will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.

"Mr Rohit Sharma had to come back to Mumbai after the IPL to attend to his ailing father. His father is now recuperating well and that has allowed him to travel to the NCA and start his rehabilitation."

The release, which was signed by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, also said although Ishant had regained fitness, he still had to build up workload and hence was ruled out. "Ishant has recovered completely from his side strain injury sustained during IPL 2020 in the U.A.E. While he's building up his workload in order to achieve Test match fitness, Mr Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy."

Having omitted both Rohit and Ishant from the original squads announced on October 26, the BCCI has now included Rohit in the Test squad. But, in a media release on November 9, the board said that he was being rested from the limited-overs leg to help him "regain" full fitness from the hamstring injury he sustained during the league phase of the IPL.