Isolation protocols compel India to field new-look squad in 2nd T20I

India have been left with no choice but to usher replacements.

Aryan Surana

In the aftermath of Krunal Pandya's positive test result in the middle of the T20I series against Sri Lanka, which translated into mandatory isolation for close contacts, the BCCI has decided to add five spare players into India's main squad to fill up the void. According to Cricbuzz, Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh, who boarded the flight to Sri Lanka as net bowlers, have been pitchforked in as regular members of the squad.

The move was along expected lines after eight regular players from the touring party were rendered ineligible to participate in the second T20I after coming in close contact with Krunal, who has tested positive and has been separated from the squad. Although all of them had returned negative results in the RT-PCR test conducted on July 27, they are being sidelined as a precautionary measure. Veteran Shikhar Dhawan is available to lead the side.

The unavailability of nine players, one infected and eight isolated, had left the touring party with a sudden dearth of players and reinforcements had to be ushered at the eleventh hour.

"The decision to have extra players was a wise move and those players have now come to the team's rescue," said a senior official to Cricbuzz, rubbishing claims of the series being called off.

Earlier on Tuesday, Krunal had tested positive for the dreaded virus after rapid antigen tests were conducted ahead of the second T20I. Following his positive test result, the second T20I, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, July 27, was postponed to Wednesday. BCCI's medical team had identified eight members of the Indian contingent as close contacts, who are unlikely to partake in the second T20I, as per the report.