Several India players positive for COVID-19 ahead of West Indies series

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Four days before the scheduled start of the ODI series against West Indies in Ahmedabad, India have been dealt a severe blow with several members of their camp learned to have tested positive for Covid-19.

While the BCCI is yet to announce details, ESPNcricinfo understands that at least 4-5 members including both players and support staff tested positive on Wednesday.

It is not known yet whether the team management has sought replacements yet.

Both teams are staying at the same hotel, but on separate floors. It is understood that the BCCI has decided to conduct another round of tests on Thursday morning before deciding on the next step. Those that have tested positive will isolate in their rooms; Indian government guidelines prescribe a seven-day period of isolation.

While the West Indies squad landed in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, the India squad began assembling on January 31. As per the guidelines laid out by the BCCI, both squads will need to undergo a three-day quarantine before breaking out for training from the second half of February 4.

The ODI series is set to be played behind closed doors, with India currently experiencing a third wave of the pandemic. India recorded over 160,000 fresh cases on Tuesday, with the state of Gujarat, where Ahmedabad is located, reporting over 8000 of them.

The series will be the first to feature Rohit Sharma, who has recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the recent tour of South Africa, as India’s full-time ODI captain.

The left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav and the off-spinning allrounder Washington Sundar are set to make comebacks, while the legspinner Ravi Bishnoi and the batting allrounder Deepak Hooda have received their first call-ups. The Tamil Nadu pair of Shahrukh Khan and R Sai Kishore are also in the squad as back-ups.

West Indies, meanwhile, have picked the fast bowler Kemar Roach in their ODI squad for the first time since 2019, and are also set to welcome back Fabian Allen after his recovery from Covid-19. (ESPNcricinfo)

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