Former India batsman Virender Sehwag heaped rich praises on KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma for providing the side with a solid start more often than not against England. Sharma (368) and Rahul (315) were India’s top two scorers, and only behind Joe Root (564), and the only two Indians to notch up a century in the series.
India were leading the series 2-1 after four Tests before the last Test in Manchester was called off hours before the game was supposed to start due to a covid-19 scare in the visiting camp.
In the fourth Test, Sharma hit his maiden overseas Test ton while Rahul fixed his position as an opener on returning to the side after two years. Both the batsman showed exemplary patience against the new ball and a strong England pace attack in difficult batting conditions.
Virender Sehwag highlighted that both the openers also shielded the out-of-touch middle-order for longer periods.
“The contribution of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma cannot be forgotten. If the partnership had not happened between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, the middle order which was not scoring runs would have come in much earlier and India would have gotten all out even quicker,” Virender Sehwag said on the Sony Sports Network.
“They used to get India to a strong position, bat for 30-40 overs although even after that because the middle order was not in form, we were getting all out early in some matches,” he added.
After head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar – all of whom are currently isolating in London – assistant physio Yogesh Parmar had returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday.
The Indian players have been worried since Parmar, being the physio, had been in close contact with them, and decided against taking the field on Friday.
BCCI offers to reschedule the fifth Test:
Following the cancellation of the fifth and last Test of the series, the BCCI presented an offer to the ECB for playing this Test later on, while also stating that it was “jointly decided” by the two boards to call off the game. India will tour England next year for white-ball matches; a window for a Test match could be created then.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have jointly decided to call off the 5th Test Match scheduled at Manchester in ongoing India’s tour of England 2021,” the BCCI said in a statement.
“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.”
Both the boards and the ICC continue their talks regarding the fate of the fifth Test.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore players have left for the UAE via charter flights to participate in the second half of the IPL 2021.