India vs England: KL Rahul to Replace Rishabh Pant in Team India Playing 11 During Practice Match vs County Select XI in Durham – Report

‘One man’s loss is another man’s gain’ – The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Team India camp could provide be a blessing in disguise for opener KL Rahul who has been out for some time due to injury problems and indifferent form in the longer format. However, the upcoming three-day practice match between India and County Select XI will provide a chance for Rahul to stake his claim before the five-Test series against England, starting in August 4. With regular wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and throwdown specialist, Dayanand Garani tested positive for COVID-19 – Rahul is likely to keep wickets in the Practice match from July 20-22.

The 29-year-old Rahul last played a Test match in 2019 against West Indies in Kingston. The practice game against County Select XI provides a fantastic chance for Rahul to hone his skills in the red-ball format before the real test starts at Trent Bridge. With Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal already set to open the innings for India against England, Rahul’s form in the middle-order will be crucial for the visiting team.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Pant and throwdown specialist Garani tested positive for COVID-19, while three others were placed in precautionary isolation as the dreaded virus hit the Indian cricket team ahead of next month’s Test series.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun, reserve wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha were put in isolation for having come in contact with Garani along with standby opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, whose inclusion had raked up a recent storm. Garani’s COVID report came this morning.

It is learnt the Arun, Easwaran and Saha have all tested negative but have to follow the UK Government’s Health Safety Protocol for the 10-day isolation period.

All five are currently in London while the rest are reaching Durham this evening after reassembling from a 20-day break.

The live broadcast of the India vs County Select XI practice match will be available on Durham County’s YouTube channel. Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes will lead a 14-member Select County XI in a three-day warm-up game at the Riverside Side ground, scheduled to be played from July 20-22.

County Select XI Squad: Will Rhodes (Warwickshire – captain), Rehan Ahmed (Leicestershire), Tom Aspinwell (Lancashire), Ethan Bamber (Middlesex), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Jack Carson (Sussex), Zak Chappell (Nottinghamshire), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Lyndon James (Nottinghamshire), Jake Libby (Worcestershire), Craig Miles (Warwickshire), Liam Patterson-White (Nottinghamshire), James Rew (Somerset), Rob Yates (Warwickshire).