Pant’s quarantine was supposed to finish on July 18; he should be available for the first Test in England
It could not be confirmed why exactly Pant has not joined the camp in Durham – whether he is still recovering or the team’s medical experts want him to take further rest. It is also not clear when Pant will join the squad, although he is expected to be available for selection for the first Test at Trent Bridge.
On July 15, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had said in a media statement that Pant was asymptomatic but was nearing “completion” of his ten-day quarantine period as prescribed by Public Health England for all those who test positive for Covid-19 or are identified as close contacts. Pant would have finished his isolation by July 18 and, subject to clearing two Covid-19 tests would have been fit to join the squad.
After the Indians dispersed for a three-week break a day after the World Test Championship final, which ended on June 23, Pant had moved out of the team hotel and Shah later confirmed that Pant had tested positive outside the team’s bio-secure bubble.
Another opportunity for Rahul
Mayank Agarwal and Rahul are the two opening options to partner Rohit Sharma. While Agarwal played both as an opener and a middle-order batter during the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, Rahul had to return to India after spraining his wrist days before the Sydney Test in January. Although Rahul was part of the squad for the home Test series against England, he didn’t get a go.
Warm-up game to be behind closed doors
The three-day match will be played behind closed doors, but will be streamed on Durham’s YouTube channel.
This story was updated to include news of Bracey’s withdrawal
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo