‘India will be favourites whenever the postponed Test against England takes place’: Irfan Pathan
- Pathan's comments came after the final Test of the India-England series slated to begin in Manchester on Friday was postponed indefinitely two hours before toss due to Covid-19 scares in the Indian camp.
Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan said the Virat Kohli-led Indian side will be the 'favourites' to win the postponed fifth Test against England whenever it takes place in the future. Pathan's comments came after the final Test of the India-England series slated to begin in Manchester on Friday was postponed indefinitely two hours before toss due to Covid-19 scares in the Indian camp.
Pathan said India, who are leading the series 2-1, should be proud of the way they performed in England.
“India showed great character & fighting spirit throughout the series. Giving it back to them with top level of skills was something to be proud of this team. I'm sure India will be the favourites whenever this 'postponed' match will be held,” Pathan tweeted.
BCCI secretary said Jay Shah said they will work with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule the Manchester Test.
"The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match.
“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” Shah said.
ECB CEO Tom Harrison indicated that the rescheduled Test match may not be treated as the fifth Test and instead played as a one-off fixture between the two sides. If that does turn out to be true then the current series will be treated as a four-Test series and India will be declared the winners by virtue of their 2-1 lead.
"No, I think it's a stand-alone situation. We have been offered a few other options, probably need to take a look (at those)," Harrison told 'Sky Sports' when asked whether it would be a stand-alone game or the series-decider.
India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and senior physio Nitin Patel had all tested positive during the fourth Test in London and did not travel with the team in Manchester.
The Indian players had no problems in going ahead with the fifth Test until assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested, who had been helping in the training of most of the Indian cricketers, tested positive on the eve of the Manchester Test.
The Indian players expressed their reservation in taking the field on Friday citing Covid-related concerns, which led to the postponement of the Test match.