England pressing on with Test preparations amid reports of India Covid scare

Jos Buttler said England have “fingers crossed” that the fifth LV= Insurance Test goes ahead on Friday after India cancelled their final pre-match training session amid reports of a new coronavirus scare.

India head coach Ravi Shastri tested positive during the previous match at the Kia Oval, alongside bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, with all three remaining in isolation while the squad moved on to Emirates Old Trafford.

All the tourists’ players tested negative on the final day of the fourth Test, but reports from India on Thursday said another member of staff has now contracted the virus. The team’s afternoon net session was then scrapped pending further developments.

Haseeb Hameed diving for a catch during England's training session
Haseeb Hameed diving for a catch during England’s training session (Martin Rickett/PA)

Nobody from the India squad or Board of Control for Cricket in India was seen at the ground and the mandatory press conference did not place in its usual slot.

England completed their own pre-match preparations shortly after midday and are hoping the fixture goes ahead as planned.

“At present we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing to play tomorrow. Fingers crossed the game will go ahead,” said vice-captain Buttler.

“We don’t know too much to be honest. It would be naive to speculate too much on stuff I don’t know about. Things are all fine in our camp. We trained well this morning so, yeah, we’re hopefully all looking forward to the game again tomorrow.”