Cricket-Rohit set to make IPL return for Mumbai in Kolkata clash

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third Twenty20 International - India v England - Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India - March 16, 2021 India's Rohit Sharma in action REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

(Reuters) - Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma will return to the side for their Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders after missing Sunday's 20-run defeat by Chennai Super Kings in Dubai, head coach Mahela Jayawardene said.

Kieron Pollard captained the Mumbai side in the absence of their regular skipper Rohit, who was given additional time off after returning from Britain where he was on duty with the Indian team in their test series against England.

Rohit had scored a superb 127 in the second innings of the fourth test and did not field later because of a knee issue. But Jayawardene said that the 34-year-old would play when Mumbai face Kolkata on Thursday.

"Rohit was batting and doing his running as well, but after coming back from the United Kingdom we felt that he needed an extra few days so he should be fine to play the next game," Jayawardene told reporters on Sunday.

Rohit, the IPL's most successful captain who has led Mumbai Indians to five titles, is likely to be named skipper of India's Twenty20 side after the upcoming World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, with Virat Kohli saying he will step down.

Jayawardene said India all-rounder Hardik Pandya was also rested for the game against Chennai due to a minor injury.

"Hardik was training, he had a little niggle so again as a precaution we thought we should give him extra days to see how things are but it's nothing serious," Jayawardene said.

The IPL resumed in Dubai on Sunday, more than four months after the COVID-19 outbreak halted the world's richest T20 tournament.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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