In a major relief for the Indian cricket team, all members of the team, including the isolated five, and support staff have tested negative for coronavirus days ahead of the third test against Australia at Sydney.

The Indian players tested negative for COVID-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test on Sunday (January 3). The development is set to lift up the spirits of Indian team as five Indian players – Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill and Navdeep Saini – were facing intense scrutiny after they were spotted dining at a restaurant in Melbourne.

“Playing members of the Indian Cricket Team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for Covid-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results,” the BCCI said.

India vice-captain Rohit, Shaw, Pant, Gill, and Saini grabbed the headlines after an India fan posted tweets showing these five players enjoying dinner at a restaurant in Melbourne.

In one of his tweets, the fan also mentioned that he had paid the bill of the Indian players at the restaurant and hugged wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. The fan, however, clarified after one day that Pant did not hug him. 

“Pant never hugged me it was all said in excitement we maintained social distance all thru Apologies for miscommunication,” tweeted the fan.

The third Test of the four-match series between India and Australia will start on January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). 

The series is currently levelled at 1-1 after India registered a stunning victory in the second Test at Melbourne days after facing a humiliating defeat in the first Test at Adelaide.

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane led the team from the front in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli to help India registered a memorable win at Melbourne. Rahane scored a superb century in the match and won the Man of the Match award. 

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