NEW DELHI – Top batsman Rohit Sharma cleared a fitness test Wednesday and will join India's tour of the United Kingdom, bringing relief to selectors after two others recently failed to pass muster.
Sharma, whose inclusion in the limited-overs squad was considered vital for any hope of Indian success, passed the 'yo-yo' running exercise introduced to ensure players were up to scratch.
All eyes were on Sharma as he proved his endurance against the clock after pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and batsman Ambati Rayudu failed the same test despite already being chosen for the India squad.
Players are supposed to take the yo-yo test before selection under rules introduced by India's cricket board last year and a break in protocol for Shami has caused controversy.
Shami was chosen for the Test squad against Afghanistan last weekend without running the yo-yo. He was replaced in the one-off match by uncapped paceman Navdeep Saini after failing to prove his fitness.
Left-handed batsman Suresh Raina was called up for India's one-day international squad for England after Rayudu was found unfit.
Board administrator Vinod Rai said “there was no time to organise” the tests because the names of all prospective players for the tour had to be submitted for travel visas to the UK.
“Because of that, the cart was put before the horse and we will ensure that this doesn't happen from now on,” he told AFP.
India will play two Twenty20 internationals in Ireland before travelling to England for a three-month tour starting with the first of three T20 matches on July 3.
The Virat Kohli-led side will also play three ODI matches and five Tests.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)