A casual visit to a restaurant on Friday by India vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, and Navdeep Saini has been blown out of proportion after suggestions were made to check if it was a case of a possible bio-bubble breach. But the Indian team is clear that it was a simple case of following all protocols and there was no reason to worry.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments in the team said that the players had followed all safety protocols and there was no need for any investigation as the fan had himself done a U-turn and said that there was no physical contact after initially claiming that Pant had hugged him.
"The boys had just gone out to a restaurant to get some food. They followed all the necessary protocols and their temperature was checked and proper sanitization was done before they sat on the table. There is no need to make an issue out of this. As for the whole question of a fan being hugged by Pant, the fan has himself confessed that he had said that out of excitement," the source pointed.
Navaldeep Singh, the Indian fan who had posted footage of players dining on social media of the group at the restaurant, claimed that he had paid the $118.69 bill for the players. He also posted pictures of players carrying shopping. The players, however, can shop via click-and-collect option with the mask.
The Indian and Australian team is currently in Melbourne as they are training for the third Test of the series which is to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7. The two teams will head to Sydney on Monday.
Earlier, a fan in a series of tweets claimed that he had paid the bill of the Indian players at the restaurant. He also said that he ordered extra food so could he watch the players eating in the restaurant. He went on to add that he had been hugged by Pant.
But on Saturday, he pushed out a clarification saying: "Pant never hugged me it was all said in excitement we maintained social distance all thru J Apologies for miscommunication @BCCI @CricketAus @dailytelegraph (sic)." While rest of the players were already in the Indian camp, Rohit joined his teammates after completing his 14-day quarantine period on Wednesday.
After a horrendous show in the first Test which saw the visitors getting bundled out for 36 in the second innings, India staged an epic turnaround in regular skipper Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami's absence to clinch the Boxing Day Test on December 28. The two teams will now go into the Pink Test in SCG with the series level at 1-1.