Virat Kohli and Co test negative for COVID-19, 5th Test to go ahead in Manchester

Virat Kohli and Co test negative for COVID-19, 5th Test to go ahead in Manchester
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Virat Kohli and Co test negative for COVID-19, 5th Test to go ahead in Manchester

Highlights

  • The 5th Test was in doubt after India’s physio tested COVID positive
  • All the players have returned with 2 negative results now
  • The Manchester Test is set to begin on Friday (Sept. 10)

The fifth and final Test between India and England will go ahead on Friday as scheduled after all the players of the visiting camp returned with negative results in the second COVID-19 test conducted on Thursday.

"The players have all returned negative results," an unnamed source told ANI.

Ahead of the fifth Test in Manchester, India's physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, Team India's final training session on the eve of the game was cancelled.

Yogesh was the fourth member of the Indian support staff to test positive for COVID-19 after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar returned a positive test last week in London. The physio had been in close contact with many of the players, especially with the likes of Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara, who had complained of pain during the fourth Test at the Oval.

India played the fourth Test without their primary coaching staff of Shastri, Arun, Sridhar and physio Nitin Patel and yet won the Test quite comfortably. It was earlier reported that with Yogesh's positive COVID result, India were left without a team physio and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have asked their counterparts England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to spare them a physio for the fifth Test at Old Trafford.

Ahead of the fifth Test at Old Trafford, India have an unassailable lead of 2-1. A win or even a draw in Manchester will hand India their only third Test series victory on English soil.

Meanwhile, there is no COVID-19 scare in England's camp and vice-captain Jos Buttler confirmed that everything was fine and the hosts were looking forward to squaring the series in Manchester.

"We don't know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what's going on. At the moment we're fully expecting the game to go ahead and we're preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game," said Buttler in a virtual press conference.

Buttler, who missed the previous game as he was on paternity leave, went on to say that his side is fired up to level the series at Old Trafford.

"It was a fantastic Test match (at the Oval). The Indians played brilliant cricket. We want to win this Test match and level the series. The spirits are high in the side, it's a must win game for us," he said.

Following the Oval Test, there have been rumours regarding England might rest James Anderson for his home Test in Manchester as he looked extremely exhausted at the end of India's second innings in London earlier this week.

Reacting to that, Buttler added, "He has bowled fantastically well in the series. Jimmy is incredibly fit. He has looked after himself very well. He looks exactly the same (as was in the first match) and is available for selection," he said.

Talking about the wicket, Buttler said, "Pretty good wicket, looks a bit dry. There could be spin later on. We played against the West Indies and Pakistan so we know the conditions pretty well."

Earlier in the day, England announced their squad for the T20 World Cup, which is due to be played between October and November in Oman and the UAE.

England will be without their star all-rounder Ben Stokes, while Buttler was named Eoin Morgan's deputy for the ICC event, which the Englishmen won back in 2010.

"There is strength and depth. The white ball squad is fantastic. We have some brilliant players and match-winners. We are excited for that challenge and will try to do the maximum," said Buttler.

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