Two more Indian cricketers, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Wriddhiman Saha have been reportedly forced into isolation owing to throwdown expert Dayanand Garani testing positive for COVID-19. The development means that Saha and Easwaran, along with Pant, will not feature in the warm-up match.
The Indian unit in England has been dealt with a wicket-keeper crisis as Wriddhiman Saha has reportedly become the second wicket-keeper to be isolated from the rest of the squad. Earlier today, it was confirmed that incumbent Rishabh Pant had tested positive for the virus, and hence was put into isolation eight days ago.
Saha has not tested positive for the virus, but the veteran wicket-keeper has reportedly been forced into isolation due to being in close contact with throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani, who is believed to have returned a positive test. The development has also reportedly forced reserve opener Abhimanyu Easwaran and bowling coach Bharat Arun into isolation.
The news of Saha going into isolation spells trouble for the visiting Indian side, who could potentially enter the three-day warm-up game at the Emirates Riverside on July 20 with no specialist wicket-keepers at their disposal. Both Pant and Saha isolating, and Srikar Bharat not travelling to the United Kingdom, means that the Virat Kohli-led side might need to field KL Rahul as a wicket-keeper for the warm-up fixture. Rahul has kept wickets in the shorter formats, but the 29-year-old is currently in the squad as an opener, having never kept wickets at the first-class level.
The recent, trouble-inducing developments have put a cloud over the five-Test series.