London (England) | Jagran Sports Desk: The fifth and final Test between India and England, which will be played from Friday at Old Trafford in Manchester, will likely go ahead as scheduled all players of the Men in Blue have tested negative for the highly contagious COVID-19. The match was under threat after the Indian team's assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the infection.
"The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) say that all the India players PCR COVID Tests have come back negative and the Old Trafford Test goes ahead as planned," tweeted the BBC Test Match Special.
However, "one of the senior players" of the Indian team has shown objections ahead of the fifth Test, reported news agency PTI quoting sources. "All the players have tested negative and that’s the good news. But let’s keep our fingers crossed that the match would go ahead," BCCI quoted the source as saying.
Following Parmar's positive COVID-19 report, Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly had admitted that there was uncertainty around the fifth and final Test. "We don't know if match will happen at the moment. Hopefully we can get some game," Ganguly, popularly known as 'Dada', had said.
Later, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had also proposed that India forfeit the match in case reports of the players come out positive. However, India had turned down the idea. This is the third time in this England tour when a COVID-19 case has been reported in the Indian camp. Last week, team's head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun had tested positive for the infection. Before Shastri and Arun, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant tested positive for the infection.
Jadeja, Bumrah likely to be rested
According to PTI, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will likely be rested for the fifth and final Test at Old Traford. In Jadeja and Bumrah's place, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin will likely get a chance in the playing XI. Apart from Ashwin and Shami, Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari might also get a chance in the playing XI if the "reluctant senior player" decides to sit out, reported PTI quoting sources.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma