The Indian cricket camp has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic after all-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for the deadly pandemic. India miss the services of eight key players, including six sure shot first XI men, due to isolation protocols. India’s squad strength is now 15 instead of 24 and all four net bowlers — Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Simarjeet Singh and R Sai Kishore — were included in the main team with nine players unavailable.
Apart from Krunal, the eight others who are out of the series and not allowed to come to the ground despite testing negative are Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey. Deepak Chahar has also been isolated.
Speaking ahead of the second T20I – which was postponed for a day – Dravid said the players who were in close contact with Krunal won’t be part of the series. The former India captain and legendary batsman, however, said it will an opportunity for the players on the bench to test themselves.
“Unfortunately the close contacts of Krunal won’t be playing a part in the series. We have 11 players to choose from and we will have to play them. There is nothing to feel sorry about. All the 11 are good enough to make the 11 and that’s why they were picked in the squad. I feel it is exciting to see them perform. Yes, the balance of the side will be a little fragile because we can only pick from the players available,” said Dravid on his team’s composition.
After the toss, India captain Shikhar Dhawan claimed his team is full of street fighters and they are ready to face the challenge.
“We’re street-fighters and ready to face the challenges. Our main players aren’t here, but that gives the chance to the younger players. They have created great energy for the last 45 days, and I’m glad they have got their chances. These things can happen in the current scenario, that’s why we brought a large squad,” said Dhawan.
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