R Ashwin Tests Positive For COVID-19 Ahead Of England Tour
R Ashwin tests positive for COVID-19 (Image source: Twitter)

New Delhi: Ace Indian spinner R Ashwin’s participation in the fifth Test against England in Edgbaston is in doubt after testing positive for COVID-19. A senior BCCI official told PTI that Ashwin did not travel with the Indian contingent that landed in London on June 16, however, he was hopeful that Ashwin will recover in time to play the much important Test.

Ashwin though is unlikely to feature in the practice match against Leicestershire that gets underway from June 24 in Leicester. The Test regulars have already started practising in Leicester under the supervision of bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and batting coach Vikram Rathour. Head coach Rahul Dravid along with Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant will reach Leicester on Tuesday, June 21.

“Ashwin hasn’t travelled with the squad to UK as he has tested positive for Covid 19 before departure. But we are hopeful that he will recover well in time before the Test match starts on July 1,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“However, he might miss the practice game against Leicestershire,” the source added.

Notably, Ashwin is not the only setback for India ahead of the series decider in Edgbaston as opener KL Rahul, who is struggling with a groin injury, is also very likely to miss the Test. India currently leads the series 2-1 and a win or a draw will give them their first Test series win in England since 2007. Along with the rescheduled Test, India will also play three T20Is and as many ODIs on the tour.

Meanwhile, the Ireland-bound squad is likely to leave for Dublin on either June 23 or 24. NCA head VVS Laxman will accompany the team in the absence of Rahul Dravid for a two-match T20I series.