The Indian cricketers have cleared their first of three mandatory COVID-19 tests ahead of the first Test against England starting February 5. The two teams are in Chennai for the first two Tests of a four-match series scheduled to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

India players, who are staying at the Leela Palace hotel along with their England counterparts, will have to undergo two more rounds of testing before being allowed to start training from February 2. As of now, the players have been asked to do physical exercise in their respective hotel rooms under the supervision of the two strength and conditioning experts – Nick Webb and Soham Desai.

“The SOP is same as the IPL bio-bubble during the hard quarantine period,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “We have had one RT-PCR test done already and we would be doing two more before being cleared to train. Right now, the players will have to be confined to their rooms.”

Meanwhile, the BCCI has also allowed the Indian cricketers to stay with their families during the hard quarantine period. “The players have all come back after a gruelling tour. Hard quarantine can be extremely difficult and it would only help their well being that wives and children are around which would help them remain in a good head space,” the source said.

The likes of India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, opening Rohit Sharma and allrounder Hardik Pandya have brought their families to Chennai and been sharing posts on social media.

The third and fourth Tests of the series will be played at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium followed by five T20Is and three ODIs. The tour will conclude on March 28.

England cricketers arrived in Chennai on Wednesday after the conclusion of their Sri Lanka tour where they emerged victorious in a two-match Test series.