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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ravi Shastri returned positive result in a Lateral Flow Test for Covid-19 on Saturday
  • Shastri and 3 other members of support staff were isolated
  • India went on to post 466 on the board on Day 4, setting England 367-run target

Batting coach Vikram Rathour lauded India players for putting behind the Covid-19 scare on Saturday and focus on getting the job done on the field on Day 4 of the Oval Test against England. Rathour said the team had a talk on Sunday morning to not let affect the news distract them on a crucial day of cricket in London

Minutes ahead of the star of Day 4 play, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement that Ravi Shastri along with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel went into isolation as a precautionary measure after the head coach’s Later Flow Test returned a positive result for Covid-19 on Saturday.

India were without the head coach and 3 members of the support staff on Day 4 of the Oval Test wherein they came up with a strong batting show, posting 466 on the board and set England a target of 367 to win.

Vikram Rathour said it was on Saturday night that Ravi Shastri felt a little bit of discomfort after which the BCCI medical decide to run Later Flow Tests for Covid-19. Shastri’s test returned positive results while all the players returned negative results in two of those tests. Only after the negative results, the players were allowed to step onto the field for Day 4 action.

The BCCI said the said members of the support staff, including Ravi Shastri, have taken RT-PCR tests.

“Of course, we are missing them massively. Ravi bhai, B Arun and Sridhar, they are an important part of this set-up. They have played a major role in the team’s success in the last 6 years. But this is what it is. That’s the fact. They are not here,” Rathour said.

“It was in the morning a bit of a distraction. We had a word, we spoke and decided that we need to focus on cricket. We are here for an extremely important series,” he added.

“Today (on Sunday), when we came in the morning, it was an extremely important day for us to focus on cricket. The boys did extremely well to not get distracted. There was a potential to not get distracted. But a lot of credit goes to the boys for the way they handled themselves.”

Ravi Shastri felt a bit of discomfort on Saturday: Rathour

The BCCI media manager on Sunday evening said they are yet to get an update on the situation of the support staff after the RT-PCR test.

“I won’t remember the exact time. But around last night, at around 8pm, he felt a little bit of discomfort. The medical team decided to go for the Lateral Flow Test and it came positive. And that’s when we all found out he was positive.

“His close contacts were identified and isolated,” Rathour said.

England came up with a strong fight back after India posted big runs on the board on a placid pitch on Day 4. Openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed remained unbeaten at Stumps as England went to close of play at 77 for 0, needed 291 runs to win on what promises to be a cracking final day in the 4th Test.

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