The saga surrounding Rohit Sharma's injury and his absence from Team India's squad in Australia has attained mysterious proportions with each passing day. Sharma is recovering from a hamstring injury and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Earlier today, it was reported widely that Rohit, as well as Ishant Sharma (who is also undergoing recovery at NCA) might miss the entirety of the four-match Test series in Australia.
With no concrete statements from either sides, the lack of transparency in communication from the part of BCCI and the team management has further escalated the situation surrounding Rohit Sharma's injury.
And so, it is only fair that we look back at all the events in this saga to have a clearer understanding of the issue:
October 26: Rohit Sharma had missed the last two matches for his Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians (on October 23 and 25) due to a hamstring injury.
October 26, 8:40 PM: The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the squads for India's tour of Australia. Rohit's name was a notable omission in the star-filled squads for the limited-overs and Test series. In their press release for the squad announcement, BCCI reasoned that India's limited-overs vice-captain will be monitored as he progresses on his recovery.
October 26, 10:36 PM: Merely two hours after the squad announcement, the Mumbai Indians took the internet by storm when it posted pictures of Rohit returning to practice session. Justifiably, the fans raised questions over Rohit's omission from the Indian squad.
November 3: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly talks about Rohit Sharma's injury for the first time in public.
"Rohit is injured at the moment. Otherwise, why would we leave out a player like him? He is the vice-captain of the national (limited-overs) team," Ganguly had said. "We will have to assess him. I don't know (when he can come back). He hasn't played so far since the time he has got injured. We want him to recover. It's the BCCI's job to get their best players on the park. If he recovers, he plays," Ganguly had said.
November 3: On the same day, Rohit Sharma made a return for the MI in their final league match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He scored 4. He also played the Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals two days later, but was dismissed on a duck.
November 9: A day before the IPL final, the BCCI released an update on the squads for the Australia tour. Among other changes, it was announced that Rohit Sharma had been "rested" for the limited-povers series to "regain full fitness and he has been included in India's Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy."
November 10: Rohit Sharma guided the Mumbai Indians to their fifth Indian Premier League title, and scored a match-winning 68 in the run-chase against Delhi Capitals.
November 11: Team India departs for Australia. Rohit Sharma doesn't travel with the squad. However, Wriddhiman Saha, who faced a double-hamstring injury during the IPL and didn't play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator and qualifier 2, traveled with the Indian team.
Rohit, meanwhile, traveled back to India.
November 13: The BCCI President Sourav Ganguly talks about Rohit Sharma's injury for the second time. When asked about Rohit playing for his IPL franchise, Ganguly told 'The Week', "Rohit is still 70 per cent [fit]."
"Why don't you find out from Rohit himself? That is why he is still not picked for the ODIs and T20s down under. He has been added to the Test squad."
November 19: Rohit Sharma arrives at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to continue his recovery process from the hamstring injury. The lack of clarity over his fitness remains.
November 21: Rohit finally breaks his silence over the injury. In an interview with PTI, the Indian opening batsman reveals that his hamstring is feeling "absolutely fine," and that he wanted to be "clear in his mind" that he remains fully fit before leaving for Australia.
"Let me put this on record, I was constantly communicating with the BCCI and Mumbai Indians," Rohit said.
"I told them [Mumbai Indians] that I can take the field since it is the shortest format and I will be able to manage the situation quite nicely. Once I made my mind clear, it was all about focusing on what I needed to do."
November 22: Team India head coach Ravi Shastri says in an interview that it would be "difficult" for Rohit (and Ishant Sharma) to take part in the Test series if they don't fly out of India in the "next three or four days."
"If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you've got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren't, then it's going to be tough," Shastri had said.
November 24: Earlier today, it was reported that due to lack of communication between the NCA and the BCCI over the departure of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma, the duo is likely to miss the entire Test series.