IND vs SA: Aiden Markram tests COVID-19 positive


Aiden Markram, the South African batting star, has been ruled out of the first T20I against India on June 9 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium after testing positive for COVID-19. Due to Markram's absence, Tristan Stubbs, an up-and-coming all-rounder, was given his first cap.

Markram, who has been a key member of the Proteas over the previous four years, had a fantastic IPL 2022 season with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, scoring 381 runs in 14 matches and going undefeated on four times. He then went on to score three half-centuries, the best of which was an unbeaten 68 at a strike rate of 139.05.

“Aiden was not available for selection as he tested positive for Covid, Stubbs comes in and it is a debut for him,” South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said at the toss.

When the South African side arrived for the five-match series on June 2, Markram cleared the first round of testing, according to sources. At the same time, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has previously declared that there would be no bio-bubble starting with the current home T20I series.

Meanwhile, the Indian team has been dealt a pair of blows ahead of the series opener, with stand-in captain KL Rahul and wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav ruled out. While Rahul sustained a groyne injury while batting in the nets, Yadav was struck on the right hand.

As part of their workload management, the selectors have decided to rest key players such as regular skipper Rohit Sharma, batting megastar Virat Kohli, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, and others.

After being asked to bat first by the visiting skipper Temba Bavuma, India set a gigantic total of 211/4, courtesy of an explosive 48-ball 76 from Ishan Kishan and a cameo knock of an unbroken 31 runs from 12 deliveries by Hardik Pandya towards the finish.