Dravid tests positive for Covid-19, to delay travel to UAE for Asia Cup

He will test again in two days’ time; Paras Mhambrey to step in till then

Rahul Dravid keeps an eye on a training session, Manchester, July 17, 2022

Rahul Dravid is expected to link up with the team on a later date  •  AFP/Getty Images

Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is not travelling with the rest of the team that will assemble in Dubai today for the Asia Cup. It is believed Dravid had mild symptoms, which have receded. He will test again in two days’ time. Paras Mhambrey, the bowling coach, will step in till then.

A call on whether VVS Laxman – who coached India in Zimbabwe as Dravid took a short break – will join the team in Dubai too will likely be taken only after Dravid takes the test in two days. India’s first match in the Asia Cup will be on August 28 against Pakistan.

“Team India Head Coach Rahul Dravid has tested positive for COVID-19 in a routine test conducted ahead of the team’s departure to the UAE for Asia Cup 2022,” a BCCI release said. “Mr. Dravid is under the supervision of the BCCI Medical team and has mild symptoms. He will join the team once he returns with a negative COVID-19 report. The rest of the team will assemble in UAE on 23rd August, 2022.”

The Asia Cup is likely to be India’s last tournament before they announce the team for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November. In that light, the Asia Cup is an important tournament for the decision-makers to be around. It is believed that 11 or 12 slots in the squad are more or less booked, but the Asia Cup could have a bearing on the last three-four places. India will also be waiting on the fitness of Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah who are at NCA in Bangalore for rehab.

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