In what was one of the longest-running Test series, the India- England five-match Test series, eventually, got to its end in 2022. The series that started in August 2021 found its culmination in July 2022. The first four matches went on smoothly as planned but it was the fifth one, that dragged on for almost a year.
India were leading the series with a 2-1 margin in the first four matches when the COVID-19 outbreak derailed the tour. Ravi Shastri was the first one to get infected by COVID in the Indian camp before other cases came to the foray. Team physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar’s infection raised the biggest alarm bell as he was close to several of the senior players including Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, and others.
Looking at the situation, the Indian Cricket Board and the English Cricket Board mutually decided to postpone the series. However, many allegations were laid onto the Indian team by English media with some former England players being of the opinion that Indian players rushed back to UAE so they could be ready for the upcoming Indian T20 League.
Ravi Shastri who was the head coach for India in that series has now come out and said that not only India would have played the fifth Test but also won it.
“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,” Shastri said in a Star Sports press conference ahead of the Asia Cup.
The fifth Test match eventually played out in July 2022 which the home team won after a sensational performance by Jonny Bairstow. The series was drawn 2-2 and the Trophy was retained by England.