The Indian cricketers on Thursday cleared their first round of RT-PCR tests and will be undergoing two more rounds before starting training from February 2 for the upcoming Test series against England. The first of the four-Test matches will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on February 5. The entire Indian contingent has already arrived in the city and both the teams are staying at the Leela Palace hotel.
“The SOP is same as the IPL bio-bubble during the hard quarantine period. We have had one RT-PCR test done already and we would be doing two more before being cleared to train. Right now, the players will have to be confined to their rooms,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
At the same time, in a welcome move, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has allowed the players to be accompanied by their families as it “could be extremely lonely” during the hard quarantine phase.
“The players have all come back after a grueling tour. Hard quarantine can be extremely difficult and it would only help their well-being that wives and children are around which would help them remain in a good headspace,” the source said.
The elegant number three batsman Joe Root will be leading England in the four-match Test series while regular skipper Virat Kohli makes his return to the cricket field after paternity leave. Meanwhile, the visitors would be hoping to repeat the heroics of the 2012/13 season where they had registered a 2-1 win in (four-match series) under the leadership of former iconic opener Alastair Cook. That remains England's last Test series win on Indian soil to date.
At the same time, the four-match Test series will also constitute a major part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
Here are the fixtures of the four-match Test series:
1st Test: 5th-9th Feb (Chennai)
2nd Test: 13th-17th Feb (Chennai)
3rd Test: 24th-28th Feb (Ahmedabad)
4th Test: 4th 8th Mar (Ahmedabad)
(With PTI Inputs)
(Photo Credit: AP)