England head coach Chris Silverwood is optimistic of having wicket-keeper batsman Ollie Pope & all-rounder Moeen Ali to play in the first test match against India.
Both the players had missed two match test series against Sri Lanka. Moeen had already been tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving England from the UK but tested positive for coronavirus after arriving at the Sri Lanka airport in Hambantota. On the other hand, Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the test series against Pakistan. The England & Wales Cricket Board last week said Pope will be added to the squad when he will be declared fit by the fitness experts.
“I’m hoping Ollie will be able to throw his hat in the ring for that first Test. The sooner we can get him back the better it is for us,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Silverwood as saying. Moeen Ali was released from Quarantine & had joined his teammates in Galle after serving an extended isolation period on January 16.
“Moeen should be available for the first Test, too. He’s been through everything he needs to go through and is progressing nicely,” said Silverwood.
The England Cricket team & staff has arrived in Chennai on Wednesday for the first test match against India. The first & second test will be played in Chennai starting from February 5. The squad headed by Joe Root will be going under a mandatory six day quarantine as per COVID-19 protocol. Ben Stokes, Rory Burns, and Jofra Archer arrived in Chennai on Monday, and they have already begun their quarantine period.
On Monday England defeated Sri Lanka by massive six wickets in the second test match to win the series by 2-0. Joe Root was awarded as Man of the Match & Series for his outstanding form with the bat.
England squad for first two Tests against India: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).