India batting coach Vikram Rathour on Sunday said the team was naturally a bit distracted going into day four of the fourth Test after head coach Ravi Shastri tested positive for COVID-19.
The BCCI medical team had isolated Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar, and physiotherapist Nitin Patel as a precautionary measure after the head coach’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.
“Of course, we are missing them massively. Ravi Bhai (Ravi Shastri), B Arun and R Shridar, they have been an extremely important part of this set-up and they have done extremely well (in) the last five-six years and played a major role in the team doing well,” Rathour said after the end of day’s play.
India were in a commanding position after scoring 466 in the second essay, courtesy of a memorable hundred by Rohit Sharma and equally important knocks by Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant.
“But this is what it is. That’s the fact that they are not here. So, it was in the morning, I think, a bit of a distraction, we had a word, we spoke, (and) decided that we need to focus on what is in hand, which is cricket,” said Rathour.
“So, we are here for this series, it is an extremely important series that we are playing and today when we came in the morning, it was an extremely important day for us, to focus on cricket. So, I think the boys did extremely well, to not get distracted.
“There was a potential that we can (be) distracted from the situation that happened last night, but a lot of credit goes to the boys, the way they handled themselves and the way we played as a team,” added Rathour.
The batting coach also revealed that Shastri felt a bit of discomfort on Saturday after which the test was conducted.
“I would not know the exact time, but it was last night around 8 in the night. He was having little bit of discomfort yesterday, so the medical team decided to go for a lateral-pro test and it came positive and that is when we heard that he is positive and I think, the close contacts were identified and isolated, so we will wait for the medical team on when they can join back,” he added.