Melbourne (Australia) | Jagran Sports Desk: The Indian players are having a hard time before the beginning of the third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as many of them, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma, have been accused of breaching the bio-bubble protocol.

While the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia are investigating the case, an Australia media report has claimed that even skipper Virat Kohli and hard-hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya had breached the COVID-19 protocols.

According to a report by smh.com.au, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya were spotted "without a mask" on December 7 while they were out on shopping. The report also claimed that the matter was not reported because it was a "minor instance".

The two players returned to India after the completion of the first Test at Adelaide. While Pandya only played the ODIs and T20Is, Kohli was only in the Test squad for the first game.

Recently, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw were accused of breaching COVID-19 protocols while they were out for dinner in Melbourne.

An Indian fan had posted a video of the players and claimed that he paid their bills. The fan also claimed that he was hugged by Rishabh Pant, which is a breach of the protocols. The fan, however, issued a clarification later, saying he "said that out of excitement".

Following the incident, the five players were isolated from the rest of the squad. They, however, have tested COVID-19 negative and are allowed to train and travel with the team for the match in Sydney.

"Playing members of the Indian Cricket Team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for COVID-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results," the BCCI said in a short statement.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has announced that a joint investigation with the BCCI was on to determine whether it amounted to a breach of bio-security protocol for the series.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma