Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Rathour admitted, "Of course, we are missing them massively. Ravi Bhai (Ravi Shastri), B Arun and R Shridar, they have been extremely important part of this set up and they have done extremely well (in) the last five-six years and played a major role in the team doing well.”
Resuming their second innings at 270 for 3, Team India put up a good batting performance on Sunday to lift their total to an imposing 466. After India lost three wickets in the first session, Shardul Thakur (60) and Rishabh Pant (50) featured in a 100-run stand to put India ahead.
"But this is what it is. That’s the fact that they are not here. So, it was in the morning, I think, a bit of a distraction, we had a word, we spoke, (and) decided that we need to focus on what is in hand, which is cricket," said Rathour.
"So, we are here for this series, it is an extremely important series that we are playing and today when we came in the morning, it was an extremely important day for us, to focus on cricket. So, I think the boys did extremely well, to not get distracted,” he further added.
Rathour also credited the boys for playing well despite what transpired the night before. He stated, "There was a potential that we can (be) distracted from the situation that happened last night, but a lot of credit goes to the boys, the way they handled themselves and the way we played as a team.”
He further informed that Shastri actually felt some discomfort on Saturday after which the test was conducted. Rathour revealed, "I would not know the exact time, but it was last night around 8 in the night. He was having little bit of discomfort yesterday, so the medical team decided to go for a lateral-flow test and it came positive and that is when we heard that he is positive and I think, the close contacts were identified and isolated, so we will wait for the medical team on when they can join back.”
Meanwhile, England reached 77 for no loss at stumps on Day 4 of The Oval Test. They need a further 291 runs to win the match on the last day.
--By A Cricket Correspondent