India’s senior-most pacer Ishant Sharma was on Saturday ruled out of the Cricket World Cup owing to a knee injury after he was the only one among the four injured cricketers who failed in the fitness test. The injured quartet of Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja went through rigourous fitness drills and the lanky paceman, who last played during the Boxing Day Test match was clearly not in best physical condition. “It’s confirmed that Ishant has been ruled out and will not recover in time to play the World Cup. As per regulations, we had Mohit Sharma as stand-by and he will be inducted into the World Cup squad. Ishant is likely to return home,” a top BCCI source told PTI. “Rohit Sharma (hamstring), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (ankle) and Ravindra Jadeja (shoulder) have passed the fitness test. However to confirm their match fitness, the trio will need to go through the grind during the warm-up games against Australia and Afghanistan.
“The team management will need to check as to how Jadeja shapes up while throwing from the deep. That they (Rohit and Bhuvneshwar) have reported fit is the reason that they were presented for the Open Media Session,” the source added. The BCCI has not yet issued any official statement on Ishant’s withdrawal from the team and his replacement. Recently, after a four-week lay-off, the 26-year-old Ishant was picked to check his fitness during one of the tri-nation series match against Australia on January 26 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). However the match was abandoned after 16 overs and Ishant didn’t get a chance to bowl. But according to team insiders, in the very next match against England at Perth on January 30, he again reported unfit which raised a lot of eye brows as India neither played nor had any practice session in interim.