The failure of Rohit Sharma to recover from the COVID-19 infection he contracted during a warm-up game in Leicester last week has seriously hurt his chances of leading India against England in the Edgbaston Test. The captain is still a possibility, but according to a previous Cricbuzz story, national selectors and team management have decided to hold off till the very last minute. But that is driven more by optimism than by conviction.

Since testing positive last Saturday (June 25), Rohit has been placed in a permanent isolation facility, and every RT PCR test that has been conducted on him since then has shown a positive result. The team’s Monday flight from Leicester to Birmingham was really missing Rohit (June 27). He went to the Warwickshire city on his own. He failed a test on Wednesday (June 29), prompting the team management and selection to assess their alternatives.

Jasprit Bumrah will likely take over as captain if Rohit fails the fitness test once again on Thursday morning (June 30). If it does, Bumrah would be the team’s first pacer to be given charge since Kapil Dev. The names of R Ashwin and Rishabh Pant were also brought up, but they ultimately fell short. The former is a shaky starter for the test given his recent COVID-19 history, while the latter is ineligible owing to his prior dismal leadership record. Bumrah is also the obvious choice in the current circumstances owing to his considerable global skills.

Rahul Dravid fearlessly informed the reporters on Wednesday night that the medical personnel wanted to examine the skipper one more time before the game. The medical team is now monitoring Rohit. He has a chance still. Naturally, he must get the negative test results before being reachable. Therefore, he will take a test tonight and maybe another the following morning. Everything will depend on that.