Young Indian pacer, Prasidh Krishna, on Saturday, tested positive for COVID-19. Krishna became the fourth player from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to test positive for the Coronavirus after Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, and Tim Seifert. Notably, Prasidh Krishna was picked in the Indian squad as a Standby player that was announced on Friday to play the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand and for the five-match Test series against England.
While the final of the World Test Championship will be played from June 18- June 22, the five-match Test series against England will begin from August 04 and will last until September 14. Team India finished as the team with the highest points in the ICC World Test Championship Points Table as the group stage came to a close after India beat England 3-1 in a four-match Test series.
What Are The Chances Of Prasidh Krishna Flying To The UK With The Indian Contingent For ICC WTC Final 2021?
As per the latest reports, the India National Cricket Team is all set to start an 8-day bubble in India from May 25, before flying to the United Kingdom (UK). The same reports state that the Indian Cricket Team will then travel to the UK on June 02 and serve a 10-day hard quarantine before finally stepping up on the field for training and practice ahead of the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand.
As Prasidh Krishna tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, there are questions in the cricketing fraternity about his departure with the Indian team to the UK. As per the COVID protocols, generally, a patient infected with COVID-19 recovers in a time span of 14 days. However, the person in question might also recover prior to that and might not recover even after 14 days.
If Prasidh recovers before or on the 14th day, he will still have the time to join the Indian bio-bubble from June 25. However, if he does not recover from COVID-19 even after 14 days, his place will certainly be in doubt for the ICC World Test Championship Final and the series against England.
Will The BCCI And Indian Team Management Carry Substitute Players For Prasidh Krishna?
Looking at the Indian squad, the BCCI has named a giant 20-member squad for the WTC final and the England tour. Out of these 20 players, KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha are subject to fitness clearance. Apart from this, the BCCI has also named 4 Standby players, out of which Prasidh Krishna was one of them. Now, is there any possibility of BCCI carrying any substitute in place of Prasidh Krishna?
As the Indian 20-member squad already consists of 6 pacers and in the standby players, 3 players, including Krishna, are pace bowlers. In such a scenario, it is highly unlikely of BCCI to carry any additional player to the UK for the WTC Final and the bilateral five-match series against England.
However, if the BCCI decides on doing so, they might go after Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is fit and ready to play. There has been no information whatsoever regarding Bhuvneshwar’s absence from the Indian Cricket Team for the travel to the UK. Another suitable option could be veteran Indian pacer, Jaydev Unadkat. Unadkat has a terrific bowling record in his First-Class career as he has picked 327 wickets in the 89 games that he has played so far.
However, the BCCI has been vigilant of its players and Prasidh Krishna might soon recover from COVID-19 which will allow him to travel to the UK alongside the Indian team. Even if he doesn’t, it is a meager possibility that BCCI might look for some sort of a replacement.
India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla