Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane    AFP
Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane AFP

The drama surrounding Indian limited overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma‘s YoYo test continued as he is now set to appear for the fitness test tomorrow at the NCA in Bengaluru. It is learnt that Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been kept on stand by as of now in case Rohit fails to clear the 16.1 qualifying mark.

“There is nothing new in having a stand by. In case the necessity arises, Rahane is being seen as a reserve opener and will fill in that role. As of now, we have not heard that Rohit has any fitness issues,” a senior BCCI official, who has worked closely with the cricket operations team, told PTI today.

The entire limited overs squad (except those who were playing Afghanistan Test match), took the YoYo test at the NCA on June 15 save Rohit. Rohit was exempted from taking the test as he had already sought permission for a prior sponsor commitment in Russia as brand ambassador of a reputed watch company.

However since then, there has not been any clarity as to why the date of his fitness test has been continuously changing. The opener is the second most important player in the white ball set-up apart from skipper Virat Kohli and is expected to play a key role in the limited overs game during the upcoming UK tour.

There are sources in the BCCI who informed that Rohit actually wanted to appear for the fitness test once the team landed in UK but he was told by BCCI that it is mandatory to have the tests in India. The YoYo test has been a raging topic in Indian cricket since veterans Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina earned the ignominy of being first two players to have failed it. Raina since then did well enough to clear and earned a recall in the Indian limited overs team.

However with three players — Sanju Samson (India A), Mohammed Shami and Ambati Rayudu (India seniors) failing the test, questions have been asked by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) as to why it was not conducted before team selection.

It is learnt that GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim had assured that exception was made this year as IPL was on but henceforth they will revert back to the old system where tests will be held earlier and then squad will be announced.