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Virat Kohli confident ODIs will proceed without hitch despite Covid spike in Maharashtra

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Virat Kohli is banking on the medical set-up and bubble arrangements for the team’s bio-security and exuded confidence that despite a Covid spike in Maharashtra, the Pune leg of the India-England series would be conducted without any problems.

Over the last 24 hours, Maharashtra has reported 30,535 fresh coronavirus cases and the as per the government website, the state has 2,10,120 active cases at the moment. The number of active cases in Pune alone stands at 42,015.

Asked at the pre-match press conference if the team has any concerns about playing in Pune, Kohli said: “There have been cases outside of the bubble in all the places that we have been at. Look, whether there are a few cases or a lot of cases, in today’s times you have to be very, very aware and very, very particular about the precautions that you need to take, and that’s the only thing that is in our control and we are continuing to do that.”

After Chennai and Ahmedabad, the cricket caravan has moved to Pune where three One-Day Internationals would be played on March 23, 26 and 28. “We have been successful in two cities and I’m pretty sure with our medical set-up and the way the bubble is created, we will have a successful leg in Pune as well and then carry it forward into the IPL also,” the India captain said.

He added: “The players understand how much is at stake. The medical professionals understand… The hotel people have been brilliant. We have not felt unsafe inside the hotels or inside our bubbles. I think they have all done a tremendous job and it’s upon everyone to be responsible to be able to continue the successful execution of these parameters.”

Pune is the last stop in a full series that has had four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs. Chennai hosted the first two Tests followed by the next two Tests and five T20Is in Ahmedabad.

All the while, the teams and everybody connected with the matches have operated within a strict bio-secure environment. After the Covid spike in Maharashtra, there was talk of shifting the ODIs to Ahmedabad. But the Maharashtra Cricket Association consulted the local authorities and assured the BCCI of the required bio-safety. All three games in Pune will be played behind closed doors.

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