Even as the Covid-19 virus infiltrated the Indian camp leaving the white ball series in jeopardy for a brief while, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to add five spare players into the squad. The second game of the T20I series will now go ahead as per the schedule tonight. Cricbuzz has learned that Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh, who were all taken to Sri Lanka as net bowlers, have been included as regular members of the squad.
The move became imperative after eight regular players from the touring party have become ineligible for having come in close contact with Krunal Pandya, who has tested positive and has been separated from the squad. Although all of them had returned negative results in the RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday (July 27), they are unlikely to feature in the match. Veteran Shikhar Dhawan is available to lead the side.
The unavailability of nine players (including Krunal Pandya) had left the squad with a shortage of players and the move by the BCCI to send spare players has turned out to be a foresighted decision in hindsight. Some of the players are likely to feature in the second T20I.
“The decision to have extra players was a wise move and those players have now come to the team’s rescue,” said a tour official refuting the talk that the tour was in danger of being called off.
Cricbuzz has learned that there were initially some doubts about the match going ahead as the Indian team management was reportedly not keen because of the lack of enough batsmen at its disposal. With the likes of Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan besides Krunal not available, there was worry in the Indian camp over its batting depth.
Sensing a threat to the game, which had to be rescheduled to Wednesday from Tuesday because of Krunal’s positive result, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is understood to have dialed the BCCI which, in turn, spoke to the Indian team management on Wednesday afternoon. Eventually, all sides agreed to go ahead with the game.