Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said he spoke to a few of the Indian players currently in England and tried to understand why they were reluctant to take the field at the Old Trafford in Manchester for the fifth Test against England, which was postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19 fears.

“I spoke to a few of the guys (Indian players). Almost all games have gone down the wire, they are tired and they have only one physio right now.

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“They had two, but before this one went down along with the chief coach, another couple of the coaches, so they had one physio, so they’ve done a lot of work with that man. And now he tests positive. Now, that is the problem,” Karthik told Sky Sports.

India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive on the eve of the Test match in Manchester and a number of top Indian cricketers had trained with him on Wednesday, which led to the fear among the players despite them testing negative in RT-PCR tests conducted late on Thursday.

“If it was somebody else, somebody was helping you know in terms of logistics and all that they wouldn’t be this afraid but when this person got it, the physio, I think that’s when they got the jitters a little bit,” he added.

Karthik also said that the resumption of IPL 2021 in the UAE being only in 9 days’ time, made the Indian players more reluctant.

“You also have to understand, as soon as this finishes, they have the IPL soon after that the World Cup, and soon after that the New Zealand series and we are talking about literally one-week turnarounds,” Karthik said.

“How many bubbles can they do? When they left, when they assembled in India on May 16 it’s almost four months. That’s a lot of time already.”

Karthik, who was in England till last month as a commentator, said that a lot of the Indian players couldn’t sleep till 3 in the morning and hence it was almost impossible to go ahead with the Test match.

“Let’s take an example for today, most of the guys today haven’t even slept till 2.30-3 in the morning because they don’t know if they have to be ready for the match, they don’t know because you know it’s very late in India, so they don’t know if they’re going to be able to speak to ECB those kinds of discussions were gone.

“So most of them haven’t even slept till 3 O’clock so the Test match happening today was out of question almost. It’s whether they can delay it further, but you have to remember that there is a good chance that in the RT-PCR test three days later, someone could test positive and if he’s in the playing 11, then what happens to that person,” he said.

“Is he going to spread it around? Is he this super spreader for that point of time, that puts every other player in jeopardy, and then they have to stay 10 days in England then what happens to the IPL, which is supposed to start four days after they land in Dubai…

“…So it has so many other questions, it’s not necessary that they’ve tested negative today means that two days later they will test negative again. Even if it is one person who does test positive, then that puts the whole thing into another different dimension,” said Karthik.

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