Rishabh Pant has joined Team India in Durham ahead of the 5-Test series against England. The wicketkeeper-batsman had tested positive for Covid-19 on July 8 during the team's 20-day break after the World Test Championship final. He was asymptomatic and in isolation at a friend's house ever since.
The 23-year-old reportedly tested negative on Monday (July 19). The BCCI confirmed the good news of his rejoining with a picture on social media. Wearing a funky mask and an orange T-shirt, the jocose youngster happily posed for the camera.
Rishabh Pant missed the chance to participate in the ongoing three-day practice match against a County Select XI at the Riverside Ground. However, the southpaw is expected to be fit and ready for a second such game later this month.
Apart from Rishabh Pant, throwdown specialist cum masseur Dayanand Garani had also tested positive for Covid-19. He is yet to join the team and so are his identified close contacts, gloveman Wriddhiman Saha, bowling coach Bharat Arun and batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran who are all undergoing 10-day quarantine at a London hotel.
How's Rishabh Pant's record in England?
Rishabh Pant's return is a major boost for Team India who are looking to bounce back strongly from the defeat against New Zealand last month. The wicketkeeper-batsman will complete a full circle of sorts when he steps on the field at Trent Bridge on August 4 for the first Test.
It was at this ground that the youngster made his Test debut on August 18, 2018, announcing himself to the world by hitting a six off just his second ball. He made a brilliant ton - a 146-ball 114 - in the final Test of the series to kick off a meteoric rise to become one of the best match-winners for the country.
Overall, Rishabh Pant has 207 runs from four matches in England at an average of 25.88. The gloveman, more mature and technically equipped than last time, will look to cap this phase of his career by winning India the series.