India coach Ravi Shastri has tested positive for Covid-19, according to the latest RT-PCR test. Furthermore, Bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, who were considered to be close contacts of Shastri, too have returned with positive Covid-19 tests, according to reports. As a result, all three will miss the fifth and final Test against England at Old Trafford, starting September 10.
Four members, which also included physiotherapist Nitin Patel were put under isolation after Shastri was found positive during the Rapid Antigen Test on Sunday (September 5)
The trio will now undergo isolation and will come out only after they produce two negative tests. "Unfortunately, their RT-PCR test results are positive and they will all need to undergo isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results," a source told ANI.
Regardless of the results of the tests, Arun, Sridhar and Patel were to miss the final Test in Manchester. "Look, being close contacts, Arun, Sri and Nitin will have to undergo five-day isolation. But in any case, they were not travelling to Manchester for the final Test. In Manchester, the BCCI is creating a separate IPL bubble for the cricketers as there will be bubble-to-bubble transfer on September 15. It was pre-decided," a senior BCCI source told PTI.
Batting coach Vikram Rathour will take charge of the team in Shastri and Arun's absence. "As far as physio is concerned, the team has back-up in Yogesh Parmar with the two trainers Nick (Webb) and Soham (Desai). Three masseurs (Negi, Kanade, Dayanand, also a throwdown specialist) are there for recovery," he informed.
There is Raghu and Nuwan and also Vikram doubles up as a throwdown specialist.
It is understood that Shastri may have developed the symptoms either during his book release function a few evenings back or while using a common lift that players use at the stadium along with the VIP guests which has minimum traffic of 5000 people.
The playing members had tested negative in two lateral flow tests conducted on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
All the players and the support staff are fully vaccinated.
(With inputs from PTI)