Finally, some good news comes in for the Indian cricket team touring England. All the members of the Indian cricket team except two positive cases i.e Rishabh Pant & support staff member Dayananda have tested negative for COVID-19.
According to the BCCI source, all the Indian team players including 3 quarantined members of the team who were deemed as close contacts for Dayananda i.e. wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, backup opener Abhimanyu Easwaran & bowling coach Bharat Arun have tested negative for COVID-19 in the first round of RT-PCR tests conducted on Friday.
The close contacts of the COVID-19 positive staff member, Dayananda have tested negative for COVID-19 but they are still in hard quarantine in the London hotel. “All have tested negative and have cleared the RT-PCR Test. But as per the local protocols Saha, Easwaran & Arun will not travel to Durham and have been asked to stay in the team hotel in London”, confirms the BCCI source.
When asked about Pant’s wellbeing the BCCI Official said that Rishabh pant is doing good & is currently in complete isolation. “Pant is doing well but will stay isolated for next 7 days. Since testing positive, twice he has been tested and the good news is that he has tested negative in both”.
According to the reports, there are chances that Pant may play the second match which is scheduled for 28th July as his quarantine period will end on 18th July, whereas Saha will have to stay in quarantine until 24th July. Meanwhile, each & every member of the Indian team touring England will have to undergo regular flow tests for the next seven days as per the BCCI release on Thursday.
The BCCI through its Official Release declared that “to mitigate any further risks”, the Indian contingent will be administered with “lateral flow tests on a daily basis”. The major concern for the BCCI & the Indian team management is who will do wicket-keeping for the upcoming test matches. Both Pant & Saha are unavailable, so the only option left with the team India is to bring in KL Rahul for doing wicket-keeping. Team India could consider drafting KL Rahul as an opening partner of Rohit Sharma.
The Indian team is slated to play a three days warm-up match against a county Championship team from July 20 to 22. Three days practice match will be played behind closed doors & will be a part of India’s warm-up schedule ahead of the five-match test series against England starting from August 4.