With Indian players and their priorities brought under scrutiny by some following the cancellation of the Manchester Test this Friday (September 10), veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik tried to put forward their side of the view to the wider public.
Karthik revealed that there were “jitters” within the Indian camp after the team’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday (September 9). As Parmar was the only physio available to the players after the positive test of Nitin Patel, they were understandably hesitant to take the field.
Add to this the concern that there maybe more positive tests within the camp, and there was bound to be panic. Even though all the players had given two rounds of negative tests since Thursday afternoon, the threat of one or more of them giving a positive test for the contagious virus in the duration of the Test loomed quite large.
“I spoke to a few of the guys. More often than not, a lot of the players after the fourth Test… this is tiring. Almost all games have gone down the wire, they are tired and they have only one physio right now,” Karthik told Sky Sports.
“They had two, but before this one went down along with the chief coach, another couple of the coaches, so they had one physio, so they’ve done a lot of work with that man. And now he tests positive. Now, that is the problem.”
“If it was somebody else, somebody was helping you know in terms of logistics and all that they wouldn’t be this afraid but when this person got it, the physio, I think that’s when they got the jitters a little bit,”
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) September 10, 2021
Dinesh Karthik highlights bubble fatigue amid Manchester Test controversy
Taking his point forward, Dinesh Karthik stressed that Virat Kohli and company have been tackling the effects of extensive physical and mental fatigue since they resumed on-field duties via the IPL 2020 in September last year.
Indian players have been shifting bubbles, enduring pre-series quarantine and other bio-security measures from there on. This elongated period includes full series away and at home against Australia and England, respectively, followed by the half of IPL 2021 and then the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in late June.
From the start of July – ahead of and during the Test series against England – Indian players have not had to live in a bubble but still a safety controlled environment.
One more positive test within the camp would’ve sent the players into another isolated bubble, making it necessary for them to quarantine for a week or ten days again ahead of the UAE leg of IPL 2021, starting September 19.
“You also have to understand that straight after this they have the IPL, after that the T20 World Cup, soon after that the India series (at home against New Zealand). How many bubbles can they do? They assembled in India on May 16th, which is almost four months ago,” Karthik pointed out.
Before Parmar, senior physio Patel, head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar had to be shifted to a bubble away from India’s playing squad for giving positive Covid-19 tests during the fourth Test match at The Oval.