BENGALURU: The preparations of the Indian team for the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston have been thrown out of gear as a few prominent players are struck by COVID-19.
Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli contracted the virus after the team reached England. Though he has recovered now, he can’t take on too much workload.
“Yes, Virat was hit by Covid after returning from holidaying in the Maldives, but he’s recovered now. This now means that India’s tour game against Leicestershire from June 24 won’t be as intense as coach Rahul Dravid wanted it to be, since the medical advice is to not overload the players after they’ve suffered Covid-19,” a source close to the team told a leading daily.
It is important to note that the senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has not travelled to England with the team as he tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the source, there can be more cases in the team as the players have come in contact with each other. As a result, the preparations for the Edgbaston – which will take place between June 1 to 5 – have taken a hit.
The visitors are leading the five-match series 2-1 and have to either win or draw the encounter to seal the Test series victory for the first time in England since 2007.
India’s tour of England was cancelled last year prematurely because a host of players, along with then head coach Ravi Shastri, had contracted the virus. At present, the Indian camp is on tenterhooks as they’re fearful of a repeat of last year’s situation.
The fifth Test will be followed by three T20Is and three ODIs.