London: India wicketkeepers Wriddhiman Saha and Team India bowling coach Bharat Arun have self-isolated themselves after coming in contact of throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and throwdown specialist Garani tested positive, while three others were placed in precautionary isolation as the dreaded virus hit the Indian cricket team ahead of next month’s Test series against hosts England. It has also been reported that standby opener Abhimanyu Easwaran has also been put in isolation for being in close proximity of Garani.

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

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

Pant and Saha could both miss the practice match scheduled to start on July 20 against a combined county side. In that case, KL Rahul will keep against Combined Counties.

A BCCI source confirmed that Pant has been in isolation for the past eight days. He is, according to the source, asymptomatic at this point.

“He is in quarantine at an acquaintance’s place and won’t be travelling with the team to Durham on Thursday,” he said without divulging when the 23-year-old will join the squad.

However, he is likely to undergo a COVID-19 test in the next couple of days.

It is understood that Pant has been afflicted by the Delta variant which has led to rising number of cases in England.

He was seen attending a Euro championship match last month and had even posted pictures on his social media accounts.

He underwent a test after experiencing low-grade fever.

The Indian team is due to take on England in a five-match Test series starting August 4. It will play a practice game starting July 20 as a build-up to the high-intensity series.

The India-England showdown marks the beginning of the second cycle of the World Test Championship.

Recently, the England team too was hit by the virus and was forced to field an altogether different XI in a limited-overs match against Pakistan.

(With PTI Inputs)