Just before the final Test against England, Team India’s support staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the Indian team canceled their practice session today.
According to a leading media house, Team India’s players have been asked to stay in their hotel rooms today. The team trained as usual yesterday morning. Later in the day, the squad came to know about one of the support staff members testing positive in his COVID-19 test. The entire squad underwent a fresh round of testing this morning in Manchester.ESPNCricinfo tweeted, “A member of India’s support staff in Manchester has tested positive for Covid-19. The team has canceled their training session scheduled for Thursday afternoon.”
This is not the first time that COVID-19 has hit the Indian team on this tour. Before the Test series between India and England got underway, wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani contracted COVID-19.
Last week, Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar tested positive for COVID-19. The trio has not traveled with the squad to Manchester for the final Test match. As per reports circulating in the media, this series was the last tour of Ravi Shastri as the head coach of Indian test team. Shastri was lucky to witness Rohit Sharma‘s century moment at The Oval. He was seen applauding proudly for his ward as Rohit had scored his first overseas test century. It was immediately the next day that Shastri’s COVID-19 test had returned positive. It will be interesting to see how India perform in the fifth test in the lack of their leading coaches. Moreover, the important aspect is that Shastri was usually seen as extremely involved in the game, jotting down notes. Due to his[Shastri’s] absence, Virat Kohli will have a bigger responsibility on his shoulders for the final match. The fact that India will win the series even if they draw the match might lighten the Indian skipper.
Team India has already taken a 2-1 lead in the series that England can only level,but not overtake.The first Test of the series ended in a draw. India won the 2nd and 4th Test matches, while England had won the 3rd Test match. The final match of the India vs England Test series is scheduled to begin tomorrow at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Meanwhile, the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup has been announced. The Indian players will be extremely busy as they will be onto the IPL after this tour, and then onto the World Cup after the IPL.