India Test captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for Covid-19 which could put him in doubt for the one-off Test against England at Edgbaston.
Rohit is in isolation at the team hotel and if the same protocols are followed as for the ongoing England-New Zealand series it would be for a period of five days. The Test starts on July 1.
It is unclear who will lead India in case Rohit is unavailable for the England Test. KL Rahul was appointed vice-captain by the selectors when the squad was announced in May, but he is not in England as he picked up a groin injury before the home T20I series against South Africa recently. The BCCI has not yet given any update on Rahul’s fitness and is also yet to name a deputy to Rohit.
The selectors have seemingly earmarked Rahul as the long-term captaincy option. Rahul led India in the second Test on the South Africa tour in December-January after Virat Kohli pulled out due to a back injury. In March, injury ruled Rahul out from selection for the two-match Test series at home against Sri Lanka, prompting the selectors to give the vice-captaincy to Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah, though, has no captaincy experience at any level. It could not be confirmed whether the selectors would look at Kohli as an interim captain for the one-off Test. The one-off Test is the conclusion of the series from last year which was suspended after a Covid-19 outbreak in the India team.
A BCCI statement, concerning Rohit’s Covid result, said: “Team India captain Mr Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 following a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Saturday. He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and is under the care of the BCCI Medical Team. An RT-PCR test will be conducted on Sunday to ascertain his CT value.”
The news of Rohit’s positive test came through after the third day’s play of the warm-up match against Leicestershire. He had made 25 in the first innings before not batting in the second.
Previously, R Ashwin’s arrival on the tour was delayed after he tested positive before leaving India.
New Zealand have had to deal with a number of Covid-19 cases during their ongoing Test tour while England batting coach Marcus Trescothick has been absent from the Headingley match after testing positive. England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes also tested positive on Sunday and his participation in the Test against India is in doubt, although England are hopeful he would be fit to play.