Indian squad tests negative for COVID-19 ahead of SCG Test
In a huge relief to the Indian contingent Down Under, all the players and support staff of the squad have tested negative for COVID-19 ahead of the SCG Test. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed about the development on Monday. Notably, the news comes after Cricket Australia (CA) imposed isolation on five Indian cricketers. Here is more.
All the tests have returned negative: BCCI
The BCCI in its media release stated, "Playing members of the Indian Cricket Team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for COVID-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results."
Entire Indian squad will travel to Sydney
India's entire touring party will travel to Sydney for the third Test against Australia in the chartered flight, on Monday. Notably, vice-captain Rohit Sharma, openers Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, and fast bowler Navdeep Saini, haven't been barred from traveling with the squad. The players were put in isolation after they were seen visiting a restaurant.
Why were five Indian players put into isolation?
CA took this step based on the tweets of a man (Navaldeep Singh), who shared pictures and videos of these cricketers, having a meal at a restaurant. The fan, who claimed that he was seated close to the players, asserted Pant hugged him after he paid for the players' meal. However, he later clarified that he was only enthralled by seeing the Indian cricketers.
Fourth Test to be played in Brisbane as scheduled
On Sunday, it was reported that Brisbane is at risk of losing the fourth Test as the Indian management is reluctant to travel there, owing to stricter quarantine rules. However, fresh reports have claimed that the Test will be hosted as scheduled. Several travel exceptions will be made for the two teams and broadcast staff, considering the recent border restrictions.
India will be raring to go for the SCG Test
Having won the Boxing Day Test, India have a terrific opportunity to gain the lead in the upcoming SCG Test, starting January 7. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane will continue to lead the side, which has already lost two senior pacers, including Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, due to injury. However, Team India will enjoy the services of vice-captain Rohit after he recently joined the squad.