Take COVID-19 test before checking into hotel: BCCI to Indian cricket team members

Indian cricket team in Australia

Virat Kohli will return as skipper for the England series

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has instructed players of the Indian cricket team, who will be taking part in the upcoming series against England, to take a COVID-19 test before checking into the team hotel in Chennai.

As per a report in Cricbuzz, team doctor Abhijit Salvi has made it clear that only those players whose COVID-19 test is negative will be allowed to join the new bio-bubble.

Members of the Indian cricket team have been given time until the morning of January 27 to submit their COVID-19 report, it has been understood.

The Indian team was in a bio-bubble throughout the Australian tour, and were asked to remain in home quarantine after arriving in India following the victorious Test series.

Indian players who featured in the IPL in the UAE were in the bio-bubble for an extended period, as they headed directly to Australia after the IPL. The players took multiple COVID tests during their stay in the UAE as well.

Cricbuzz further reported that the decision not to allow crowds in Chennai was taken following a request from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on safety grounds.

India and England have faced each other in 122 Tests so far, with the latter holding an advantage in the overall head-to-head. England have won 47 matches, while India have tasted success in 26. The other 49 games have not produced a result.

However, India has done much better in home conditions. They have 19 wins and 13 losses from 60 Tests, with the other 28 matches ending in a draw.

The home advantage lies with the Indian cricket team, but England’s confidence will also be on a high following their 2-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

England’s Test captain Joe Root stood out in particular, with scores of 228 and 186 in the series.

Incidentally, England were the last side to beat the Indian cricket team in a Test series in India.

They achieved the feat in 2012 courtesy standout performances from then skipper Alastair Cook (562 runs) and Kevin Pietersen (338 runs), as well as spinners Graeme Swann (20 wickets) and Monty Panesar (17 wickets).

The series promises to be a riveting contest between two of the world’s top cricketing nations.

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