The Indian team has been jolted by another COVID blow as the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Krishnappa Gowtham has tested positive for the virus. This comes days after all-rounder Krunal Pandya returned positive for COVID-19. Both Gowtham and Chahal were identified as close contacts of Krunal and were sent into isolation along with six other members - Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey and Deepak Chahar. The development meant that India was left to play with just five specialist batsmen in the second and third T20I. The bleak batting had no answers to Sri Lanka’s attack and lost both games and the series. The news of Gowtham and Chahal testing positive for COVID-19 was confirmed by ESPNCricinfo.
While the other members of the Indian squad have left for India, Pandya, Chahal, Gowtham and other close contacts will have to serve certain days in isolation before leaving the country. As per the COVID-19 protocols in Sri Lanka, COVID-19 positive persons will have to isolate for 10 days and return COVID negative before being allowed to leave the country. The protocols for the close contacts are slightly lenient as they will have to serve seven days in isolation and deliver negative results before leaving the shores.
Meanwhile, the current saga has put Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw’s travel plans to England on hold. The players now won’t be able to leave for England before August 7 which means they will only be able to join the Indian squad after the second Test.