Prolific Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli struck form with a fluent 67 in the practice match on day three against Leicestershire with Cheteshwar Pujara batting for both sides, and Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer getting two digs in the same innings. A lot of the bowling was done by India’s net bowlers Navdeep Saini, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and R Sai Kishore. Meanwhile, India test captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 which could put him in doubt for the one-off Test against England at Edgbaston. Rohit is in isolation at the team hotel and if the same protocols are followed as for the ongoing England-New Zealand series it would be for a period of five days. The Test starts on July 1.
A BCCI statement said: Team India captain Mr Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 following a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Saturday. He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and is under the care of the BCCI Medical Team. An RT-PCR test will be conducted on Sunday to ascertain his CT value. India’s lead bowler Jasprit Bumrah got in a spell each in each session and Virat Kohli, batting at No. 7, scored a breezy half-century. Scoring a fifty in his third innings of the match, Jadeja didn’t consider it significant enough to merit his trademark sword-wielding celebration. There was still a chance for a grandstand finish or an outright result on day four as the Indians went to stumps leading by 366 runs. Like Jadeja and Iyer, Pujara might want a third innings himself; if Rishabh Pant decides to bat too – unlike Rohit Sharma, who decided one innings was enough for him – we might even get a low-key reprise of the final-day drama at Sydney and Brisbane early last year.
When Kohli came out to bat, this piqued crowd interest both at the ground and on the livestream provided by Leicestershire. Bumrah vs Kohli sparkled, especially when Bumrah bowled short of a length outside off. Kohli doesn’t play the orthodox square cut, but he found a way with the flashy punch. One of them even went for a six over the short off-side boundary. Eventually, though, the shot proved to be his undoing with a catch at square gully. A rare event occurred when Cheteshwar Pujara was stumped off the bowling of Sai Kishore. Pujara has been out in this fashion in first-class cricket only three times. Sai Kishore managed the difficult task of beating Pujara in the air and then turning the ball past his edge. Jadeja and Iyer then saw through most of the rest of the day before a casual flick from Iyer gave Nagarkoti his second wicket, the first being that of the No. 6 Shardul Thakur.