After being recalled to the Test squad for the third and final match against South Africa, Australia batter Matt Renshaw tested positive for Covid in a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). The 26-year-old and Ashton Agar were called up to the national team after all-rounder Cameron Green and speedster Mitchell Starc suffered injuries during the second Test in Melbourne.
On the first day of the Sydney Test, the batter felt sick just before playing his first red-ball game in nearly five years. In order to avoid interaction with his countrymen, Renshaw afterwards stood a little bit apart from his colleagues for the national anthems and was also seen sitting away from the dugout on the boundary edge.
“Australian batter Matthew Renshaw reported feeling unwell shortly before play in the third Test match against South Africa in Sydney and was separated from the squad. Renshaw has since returned a positive RAT test. He will continue to take part in the match,” a CA spokesperson was quoted as by ESPNcricinfo.
Matt Renshaw last played for the red-ball team in 2018
Renshaw last played for the red-ball team in the infamous sandpaper gate incident in 2018, going up against the same opposition. Peter Handscomb was named as a late substitute in case a Covid replacement was required despite playing the game in Sydney with Covid.
In any case, Australia captain Pat Cummins addressed the virus on the eve of the Test match and said that the team was “back to normal life.”
“I still don’t know how we haven’t had Covid in our team now I think about it. It feels like we’re back to normal life,” said the skipper.
It is uncertain whether Renshaw will play out the entire game or if Handscomb will step in as a replacement. Going into the fourth Test in Sydney, the Australians already enjoy a 2-0 series lead that cannot be challenged.