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Fifth test match between India and England to go ahead at Manchester after negative RT-PCR results

India beat England by 157 runs in the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday -- a result that left the tourists 2-1 up with one match to play. (AFP)

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The fifth test match between India and England is all set to start from today after the RT-PCR test of Indian players has returned negative results for Covid-19.

This was after team physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive for coronavirusin Manchester.

Parmar had to take charge during the fourth Test after lead physio Nitin Patel was forced to self-isolate after being identified as a close contact of Shastri.

Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

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An ECB spokesman said later Thursday that all subsequent PCR tests from within the India squad had produced negative results and that the Test match “goes ahead”.

However, there are no COVID-19 related worries in the England camp and Jos Buttler said everything is fine and the hosts are looking forwrd to the game.

“We don’t know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on. At the moment we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference.

This came after India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests during the fourth Test.

They are currently undergoing isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results.

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The tourists completed a 157-run win on Monday to go 2-1 up with just one match to play — despite star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not yet featuring in the series.

That victory followed an innings and 76-run defeat at Headingley where India, in England since losing the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand in June, were dismissed for just 78.

But at the Oval, where 50 years earlier India won their first Test on English soil, Rohit Sharma scored his first overseas Test century and Shardul Thakur starred with both bat and ball.

Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating spell of reverse swing — 2-6 in six overs — was key to England losing their last eight wickets for 69 runs.

*With inputs from agencies

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