The Indian squad on tour in the UK will be receiving their second round of the Covid-19 vaccine on July 7 and 9. While this is in accordance with long-planned BCCI countermeasures to keep their players safe, it assumes greater significance given the developments in the England team.
Three of England's players and four of their support staff tested positive for Covid-19 in Bristol on Tuesday, prompting the entire ODI squad to face Pakistan two days from now to go into isolation. The Indian management are "aware of the situation" but as yet have not been asked to make any changes to their existing security measures.
"Obviously, ECB and the local health authorities will provide us with any change in existing health safety protocols and that will be strictly followed," a senior BCCI official told PTI. "But we haven't been told anything as of now. The players have not yet been told to cut short their downtime."
Virat Kohli and his men are currently on holiday after playing in the World Test Championship final last month, and are expected to re-assemble in London on July 14. Then they travel to Durham for two weeks of training before a practice match.
"Most of the players are in and around London. All this was planned well in advance. All those who have had Covishield as their first jabs in India are now ready to get their second doses," a senior BCCI source was quoted as saying by PTI.
Should everything go as planned, India's players may enjoy greater freedoms when it comes to quarantine. The UK government is working towards reducing Covid-19 restrictions and from August 16 - the last day of the second Test - double-vaccinated people may be exempt from self-isolating even if they come in contact with a carrier of the virus.
When asked if that would indeed be the case, managing director of England's men's teams Ashley Giles said, "I haven't got that far, but I'm not worried right now.
"I think it's important we work closely with BCCI. We're all hopeful that as this summer moves forward we will be able to reduce the restrictions around the teams and one of the important things around that is getting everyone double vaccinated then we should be able to enjoy more freedoms.
"We've got a group of very young, fit people many of whom will be asymptomatic even if they catch this. I think I heard to government talk about treating this as flu eventually and we're gonna get to that stage. At the moment we're operating at odds with that, it's tough to manage but we're doing the best possible job we can with it."
India play five Tests against England, the first of which kicks off at Trent Bridge on August 4.