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India coach Ravi Shastri tests positive for COVID-19

The five-test series is level at 1-1. (Source: ICC)

LONDON: Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri has returned a positive COVID-19 lateral flow test, but the team has been cleared for the ongoing fourth Test cricket match against England at The Oval.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel are also isolating “as a precautionary measure after Mr Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive last evening”, the statement said minutes before the start of the fourth day’s play.

The players have since undergone two lateral flow tests — on Saturday night and on Sunday morning, respectively. “The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test at The Oval,” the statement added.

“They have undergone RT-PCR testing and shall remain in the team hotel and not travel with Team India until confirmation from the medical team,” the statement added.

The Indian contingent has been carrying out lateral flow tests every single day since Rishabh Pant tested positive for COVID during the three week break. It is understood that Shastri may have got the symptoms after attending his book launch event in the team hotel where outside guests were also allowed. The five-test series is level at 1-1. 

Rohit Sharma scored his first Test century outside India before England’s Ollie Robinson took two wickets in the first over with the new ball on an enthralling day of fluctuating fortunes at the Oval on Saturday.

India was 270-3 in their second innings when bad light ended the third day of the fourth Test, a sizeable 171 runs ahead after England’s first innings 290.