Fifth Test in jeopardy as member of Indian support staff tests positive for COVID-19

Doubt.

Aryan Surana

A fresh Covid-19 case has emerged in the Indian camp in England as another support staff member has returned a positive test in Manchester. This time around it is the assistant physio Yogesh Parmar, Cricbuzz reported.

According to Cricbuzz, the result came to light on Thursday, September 9, and forced the cancellation of the scheduled training session on the eve of the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford, which is set to start on Friday, September 10.

Covid infections have been a thorn in India's flesh during his tour of England. Rishabh Pant and throw-down specialist Dayanand Garani had contracted the virus after a three-week break between the World Test Championship final and the series opening Test against England. Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Easwaran and bowling coach Bharat Arun had been deemed as close contacts and put under isolation.

The pandemic reared its ugly head in the middle of the fourth Test at the Oval in London, when Ravi Shastri tested positive in a lateral flow test. He, along with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physio Nitin Patel were promptly isolated and have subsequently not travelled to Manchester for the final fixture.

The series, however, remained on course as the entire Indian playing contingent tested negative and produced a scintillating show in the Oval Test to take a 2-1 series lead. The most recent development of Parmar being exposed to the infection is not a good look for the ultimate Test and could trigger a logistical nightmare for the respective boards given the contagious nature of the virus.