In what is a significant setback for the Indian team, their captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19. The development comes five days before the tourists' rescheduled fifth Test against England in Birmingham.
The BCCI confirmed the news through its Twitter handle by stating that Sharma tested positive for the virus following a Rapid Antigen Test conducted on Saturday.
The right-handed batter has been quarantined and is currently under the care of BCCI's medical team. He batted in the first innings of the warm-up game against Leicestershire, scoring 25, but did not do so in the second.
Nevertheless, the BCCI has not mentioned how many days the Indian skipper must spend in quarantine to recover. While the traditional isolation period for COVID-19 is 14 days, the veteran may have to spend at least seven days and test negative multiple times before rejoining the side.
Rohit Sharma's memorable outing in England in 2021
Rohit Sharma had a series to remember when India toured England last year for the scheduled five Tests. Opening in English conditions for the first time, the Nagpur-born player was the second-highest run-getter of the series, with 368 runs in four Tests at 52.57. He made two fifties and a hundred in the process.
Under Virat Kohli, India took a 2-1 lead after four Tests in England last year before the fifth Test had to be called off due to a surge of cases in the visitors' camp. They will be keen to win the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston and register their first series victory in England since 2007.
However, it will be challenging, given the hosts' resurgence in their ongoing series against New Zealand.
Sharma, who succeeded Kohli as India's Test captain, started his leadership stint against Sri Lanka at home earlier this year. Under him, the Indian team crushed their sub-continental rivals in both Test matches.
Should the veteran be fit to play in Edgbaston, it will be his first Test as captain away from home. If he fails to recover, keeper-batter Rishabh Pant will take over.