Washington Sundar has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now a doubtful starter for the three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting January 19. The 22-year-old spinner was to travel to Cape Town from Mumbai along with other members of the ODI squad but there is no clarity if he has even reached Mumbai.
An office-bearer confirmed to Cricbuzz on Tuesday (January 11) that the 22-year-old tested positive a few days back and won’t travel to South Africa. “He tested positive some days back and it has been decided that he will not travel with the squad.”
Sundar has been out of action of international cricket for almost 10 months – he last played for India in March 2021 – because of injuries. He recently recovered and was part of the Tamil Nadu squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy in which he did fairly well leading to his recall into the ODI squad. However, his international return may be temporarily scuppered because of the Covid infection.
Meanwhile, according to BCCI sources, discussions are underway if a replacement can be organised. The selection committee has not yet met formally but chairman Chetan Sharma has been in touch with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah over this and a decision is expected by evening. The delay in the decision on the matter is because the BCCI top brass was occupied with the Governing Council meeting of the IPL.
The ODI squad, to be led by KL Rahul, has two other spinners in R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.
After the first ODI in Paarl on January 19, India will play the second match, also in Paarl, on January 21 and round off the six-match tour with the third ODI at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on January 23.