'If I had gone to dressing room, India would've won in Manchester' - Ravi Shastri recalls Covid bout
The fifth Test of the Pataudi Trophy had to be rescheduled after Ravi Shastri and members of Indian support staff tested Covid positive.
As India head coach Rahul Dravid goes down with a positive Covid-19 test ahead of the Asia Cup in UAE, Ravi Shastri recalled the time he was in the same spot prior to the fifth and final Test against England in Manchester last year.
Shastri was one of the support staff members to have contracted the virus during his book's launch ahead of the series finale versus the hosts and had to be isolated from the playing group.
The Test match at Old Trafford was still safe until it emerged that team physio Yogesh Parmar has also tested positive for the contagious disease. Parmar had been a close contact with several Indian players, which put the fixture in jeopardy.
Even though all the Indian players tested negative in the first round of testing, the risk of one or multiple of them giving a positive test in the follow-up tests during the Test match dissuaded the tourists from taking the field. The BCCI and ECB then mutually decided to call off and reschedule the final Test for this summer.
"India would've won that Test in Old Trafford" - Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri, who has previously defended having his book launch in London during the fourth Test at The Oval, said if the Covid scenario in UK had downsized to the extent it has now, the authorities would've allowed him to enter the dressing room and that may have helped India win in Manchester.
With England winning the rescheduled Test in Edgbaston last month and ending the series with a 2-2 drawn scoreline, there is a sense of angst among the Indian fans with regards to last year's cancellation.
Carrying the momentum into the fifth Test in Manchester, the visitors might have propelled to a historic Test series win if not for the Covid outbreak in the camp.
Speaking in a press conference organised by Asia Cup host broadcasters Star Sports about the same, Ravi Shastri believes had they allowed him into the Indian dressing room, Virat Kohli & company would've scripted India's first Test series triumph in England since 2007.
"When I had Covid last year, I could have gone into the dressing room in 6-7 days. And I promise you if I had gone to the dressing room in 6-7 days, India would have played that Test match at Old Trafford and won it," he said.