In a piece of a welcome news, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has tested negative for covid-19 and has recovered from it, and will join the team ahead of Sunday’s clash against Pakistan in Dubai.
Rahul Dravid had tested positive for the virus a few days back and had been under home isolation in Bangalore.
At that time, the BCCI had flown in VVS Laxman to be with the squad as an interim coach. Laman was India’s interim head coach on the Ireland and Zimbabwe tours and would have assumed the head coach duties for the Pakistan game had Dravid not tested negative.
Dravid’s symptoms were mild. His negative test report came negative on August 27, Saturday, and he was immediately cleared to travel to Dubai.
“Rahul test results has come negative and he is fit to fly,” a BCCI official confirmed to The Indian Express.
One person who wasn’t worried about Rahul Dravid’s absence from the Indian contingent was former head coach and Dravid’s predecessor, Ravi Shastri. “In three-four days, it will be fine, and he will be back in the park,” Shastri had said, and that is what has happened.
“I don’t think it will make that much of a difference. Today, they don’t call it covid; it’s just a bloody flu yaar. In 3-4 days, it will be fine,” Shastri firmly asserted while speaking with Star Sports. Dravid had taken over the role from Shastri last November.
Dravid’s support staff members – Vikram Rathour, the batting coach, and Mhambrey, the bowling coach, were also rested for the tour of Zimbabwe and are already in Dubai with the team for the Asia Cup 2022.
India’s first match of the tournament is slated against arch-rivals Pakistan. This will also be the first meeting between the two sides since Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets at the T20 World Cup last year, incidentally in Dubai. Hong Kong is the third team in India and Pakistan’s group.
Such is the format of the Asia Cup that India and Pakistan can clash three times, including the final.
India squad for Asia Cup 2022: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan. Standbys: Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.