Eng vs Ind fifth Test | Cricket

Rohit not yet ruled out of the Test, says Dravid

Front-runner: Though Dravid did not commit, Bumrah has emerged as the likely choice to take up the mantle from Rohit.

Front-runner: Though Dravid did not commit, Bumrah has emerged as the likely choice to take up the mantle from Rohit. | Photo Credit: PTI

Head coach Rahul Dravid did not rule Rohit Sharma out of the series-deciding fifth Test versus England, starting in Birmingham on Friday. He said the announcement on the stand-in captain, if required, will be made through “official” channels.

“Rohit is being monitored by the medical team. He is not yet ruled out. Obviously, he needs to get the negative tests before being available. So, he will have a test tonight and one maybe tomorrow morning as well and then we will see,” Dravid said during a virtual media interaction on Wednesday.

In isolation

“It’s up to the medical team and the sports science team to decide. I haven’t had a chance to see him since he is in quarantine and isolation. We will keep monitoring the situation.”

Rohit tested positive for COVID-19 during India’s tour game versus Leicestershire last week and is in isolation. Should Rohit not be available for the Test match, Jasprit Bumrah is the front-runner to take charge in Rohit’s absence.

The Hindu understands that during India’s training at Edgbaston, Dravid and Bumrah had a long discussion on a wooden bench.

But Dravid was non-committal about spelling out the captaincy choice should the need arise.

“It is probably better if the communication comes from official sources. I am not sure where Chetan [Sharma, the chief selector] is, but once we have the exact clarity on Rohit, you will hear from the official sources. It’s not for me to give out official communication,” Dravid said.

While announcing the squad last month, the selection committee had nominated K.L. Rahul as the vice-captain.

No vice-captain

However, with Rahul having been injured since then, the team officially doesn’t have a vice-captain, thus making Bumrah and Rishabh Pant captaincy candidates.

Mayank Agarwal has been flown in to England as a back-up opener. But Dravid said the team has plenty of choices in Mayank, K.S. Bharat, the stand-in wicketkeeper who is a regular opener in domestic cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari.

The head coach also confirmed that veteran spinner R. Ashwin has fully recovered from COVID-19 and will be available for selection.

The fifth Test of the series had to be postponed after COVID-19 outbreak in India’s camp last September. India leads the series 2-1.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 4:45:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/dravid-non-committal-about-rohits-availability/article65583038.ece