London: Jasprit Bumrah is all set to become the first paceman to lead India in Test cricket since Kapil Dev. Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the Edgbaston Test against England after testing positive for COVID-19 for a second time and Bumrah will lead India in the series decider in Rohit’s absence, news agency PTI reported.
Rohit had initially tested positive for COVID-19 during India’s tour game against Leicestershire. He had scored 25 runs in the first innings of the match but didn’t come out to bat in the second innings after testing positive.
The Indian team practiced at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham and reports suggest that Rohit did not come out for practice.
“Rohit is out of this Test match, starting July 1, as his RT-PCR test has come positive again. He is still in isolation. Jasprit Bumrah, who is one of the vice-captains in absence of KL Rahul, will lead the team,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Bumrah will be the 36th cricketer to lead India in the longest-format since the country first played in 1932. The Gujarat pacer, who has 123 wickets in 29 Tests, has grown into world’s best fast bowlers.
India lead the Test series against England 2-1. Rohit had earlier captained India to a 2-0 home Test series win over Sri Lanka this year.
Virat Kohli-led India had taken a 2-1 lead against England last year but the fifth and final Test had to be cancelled due to a Covid outbreak in the Indian camp. The BCCI and ECB decided to rearrange the remaining Test match this year.
India will also play three T20Is and three ODIs on the tour apart from the Test match.
With the first Test scheduled to finish on July 5 and the first T20I scheduled for July 7 in Southampton, the selection committee has decided that the star players will be given a three-day recovery period before they are picked from the second game.