'COVID-19 is just flu,' Shastri talks about rescheduled England Test
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes the COVID-19 infection should just be "treated like flu". His statement came a day after the incumbent coach Rahul Dravid tested positive for the virus. The former is hopeful that Dravid would recover soon. Shastri also recalled the 2021 Manchester Test that was postponed after COVID-19 cases ramped up in the Indian camp.
Here is what Shastri said
In a conversation with Star Sports, then-head coach Shastri said India would have played and won the Manchester Test, had he visited the Indian dressing room. Shastri, who also contracted COVID-19 at that time, said, "I promise you, if I had gone into the dressing room in 6-7 days and we would have played that Test match and won it at Old Trafford."
ENG vs IND: A look at the developments
On September 6 last year, while England and India were engaged in the fourth Test, former head coach Shastri tested positive for COVID-19. Along with him, three members of the support staff, Bharat Arun, R Sridhar, and Nitin Patel, were placed under quarantine. Shastri missed the fourth Test as India claimed a famous victory at The Oval.
The final Test got canceled
The final Test at Old Trafford got canceled after the Indian players had expressed health concerns. India led the five-match Test series by a 2-1 margin. After a draw in the rain-hit first Test, India won the Lord's Test by 151 runs. England bounced back in the third Test, winning the same by an innings. The visitors then won at The Oval.
England won the rescheduled fifth Test
In October 2021, the cricket boards of England and India mutually agreed to reschedule the fifth Test to July 2022. However, Edgbaston in Birmingham hosted the final Test instead of Old Trafford. England won the Test despite centuries from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja. They chased a record-breaking 378 to draw the series 2-2. It was their highest successful run-chase in Tests.
Will Dravid recover in time?
Over a year later, India face a similar hurdle, with head coach Dravid dealing with COVID-19. He did not accompany the Indian contingent in Zimbabwe, where the Men in Blue won the ODI series 3-0. His availability for the upcoming Asia Cup is yet to be ascertained. Shastri believes Dravid could recover in time for the India-Pakistan clash after taking a "couple of paracetamols".