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Rohit Sharma not yet ruled out: Dravid; Bumrah may lead India against England if Rohit unavailable

Rohit Sharma

Birmingham, June 29: Rohit Sharma on Wednesday (June 29) missed India’s training session at the Edgbaston cricket ground here and chances of him missing the 5th Test against England starting on Friday (July 1) are quite high at the moment.

Rohit, who was tested positive for Covid-19, went for another round of testing on Wednesday (June 29), and the results are awaited. But sources indicated to MyKhel that the test hasn't turned negative yet, hence a second time Covid positive test for the India captain.

India coach Rahul Dravid later in press conference said that Rohit was yet to get ruled out of the Edgbaston Test. But the India head coach said Rohit will have to return negative in two Covid-19 tests, one later on Wednesday (June 29) and the second one on Thursday (June 30).

"Rohit is being monitored by the medical team. He is not yet ruled out. Obviously, he needs to get the negative tests before being available. So, he will have a test tonight and one maybe tomorrow morning as well and then we will see," Dravid said in a virtual press meet.

“It's up to the medical team and the sports science team to decide. I haven't had a chance to see him since he is in quarantine and isolation. We will keep monitoring the situation," Dravid said.

Rohit is still in isolation, as the UK Government prescribes a five-day advisory quarantine if a person tests positive. Rohit has gone past the five-day isolation period, hence got retested on this day.

The team management is aware of the situation and they might wait for the Covid 19 test result to make a final call on Rohit. If he indeed misses out on the Edgbaston Test, the Jasprit Bumrah could lead India as he is the vice-captain of the side.

However, Dravid did not commmit on Bumrah's captaincy at this moment as the coach said the BCCI and selectors will announce the decision in due course.

"It is probably better if the communication comes from official sources. I am not sure where chief selector Chetan Sharma is, but once we have the exact clarity on Rohit, you will hear from the official sources. It's not for me to give out official communication," he added.

There were speculations of India falling back on Virat Kohli or bring in Rishabh Pant as captain but Bumrah appears to be the frontrunner to don the captains’ arm band.

It will be a first in Bumrah’s career and he will also be the first pace bowling captain of India since Kapil Dev and a bowler-captain since Anil Kumble.

Apart from Bumrah, the only other pace bowling captain in contemporary cricket is Pat Cummins who leads Australia.

However, it will be a tough challenge for India to beat England at Edgbaston. England have just beaten New Zealand 3-0 and they often chased down targets close to 300 with ease in that series.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were the standout performers in that series scoring nearly 400 runs each as the Ben Stokes-led side hammered the World Test Champions.

Edgbaston Stadium

To add to that, India have never won a Test match in Birmingham against England in 7 attempts, losing 6 matches and drawing one.

However, India cannot lose this series as they have already chalked a 2-1 series lead in 2021 before the fifth Test was suspended due to Covid-19 surge in India camp. This is the rescheduled 5th Test.

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 18:31 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 29, 2022