Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

Amidst coronavirus shadow, Indian cricket team train in Dharamsala

As Yuzvendra Chahal takes precautionary steps to avoid the spread of coronavirus, Virat Kohli and co. took to the nets before Thursday's first one-dayer. Most notably, the fit-again Hardik Pandya.

Yuzvendra Chahal sporting a mask (L), Virat Kohli in a practice session. (R).

In their last international assignment before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL), India will be playing South Africa in a three-match ODI series, the first of which will take place on March 12 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala.

It was feared that the series might be called off because of the spread of the coronavirus in the nation, but it got the green signal after the South Africa team medics gave the go-ahead. But, head coach Mark Boucher has ruled out the customary handshakes during the tour citing precautions against the virus.

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Not only the visitors, but even the hosts are wary of the dangers and have started wearing face maks as precautionary measures. A case in point, Yuzvendra Chahal:

Amidst the virus scare, the Indian team reached Dharamsala on Tuesday and already engaged in a light practice session under the picturesque view of the Himachal Pradesh city’s skyscape.

After the ODI whitewash in New Zealand, India have made some changes to their squad as they have brought back experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Not to forget, the all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been out of action since September with a back injury.

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The 26-year-old looks fit to be back again as he took to the nets before Thursday’s clash.

Meanwhile the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) director Sanjay Sharma indicated that coronavirus may yet have a role to play in the one-dayer.

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“In India, things are in control but there is a bit of scare because of the impact that coronavirus has had globally. There will be a bit of impact on the match due to coronavirus and also because the match is not on the weekend,” Sharma told India Today.

First published on: 10-03-2020 at 20:13 IST
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