'Big blow for India, undoubtedly. There has been talk about whether Yuvraj Singh's position in the squad is worthwhile, that is not the correct way to assess it. He's not the player he once was, we all know that. He has not been in greatest of form. But don't forget he has played crucial role in three crunch matches, partnering Virat Kohli -- against Pakistan in Asia Cup and World T20 at Eden Gardens, and also in the chase against Australia in Mohali. He is a vital cog in the scheme of things, when you consider his ability to turn the arm over and get crucial wickets for [MS] Dhoni."
That was 'Cricketwallah' Ayaz Memon's take on the news that ankle injury ruled out Yuvraj for the rest of the World T20. Manish Pandey has been named as the replacement in the squad, but it remains to be seen if he goes straight into the playing XI. The options facing Dhoni are Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, and Pawan Negi.
Watch the video above to find out who Ayaz Memon picks as his choice to feature in the XI. Fair to say, it is not a easy choice facing the India skipper.
Mumbai: In a setback to India before their semifinal clash against the West Indies, all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was on Wednesday ruled out of the ongoing World Twenty20 due to an ankle injury he suffered in the game against Australia.
Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey has been confirmed as the replacement ahead of the big semi-final of the ICC World T20 against West Indies in Mumbai on Thursday.
Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri said Yuvraj would be missed in the big match. "It will have an impact. It was his three overs which allowed us to come back in the contest (against Australia). So he will be missed. Unfortunate, it's an injury that happened during the game," Shastri said in the pre-match press conference ahead of the semi-final.
Yuvraj had struck with his very first ball against Australia, grabbing the crucial wicket of rival skipper Steve Smith.
The 34-year-old had conceded a mere 19 runs in his three overs, which helped India claw back after the initial onslaught by the Aussies.
"The ICC has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 has approved Manish Pandey as a replacement player for Yuvraj Singh in India's squad for the tournament," the ICC said in a statement.
"Any injury or illness-based replacement requires a written submission to the Event Technical Committee along with a diagnosis from a medical practitioner as to the extent of the injury or illness. Once replaced, a player may not return to the squad save as an approved subsequent replacement for another injured or ill player," the statement further said.
The unfortunate injury to Yuvraj Singh has opened the doors for Ajinkya Rahane and Pandey, who was initially named as his cover ahead of India's semifinal against West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20 here on Thursday.
Pandey has arrived here as cover for injured Yuvraj, while Mumbaikar Rahane, who was warming the bench so far, is also back in focus ahead of the all-important clash.
Pandey last played for India in the fifth and final ODI at Sydney in the bilateral series in Australia and signed off with a maiden century.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, speaking after the six-wicket win on Sunday, said he is open to changes in the playing XI if the conditions demand.
"I don't know whether we should make changes but it is possible, depending on the wicket. We have to see Yuvraj's injury as well. We would definitely like to have a replacement ready if the physio says his injury is bad," he had said.
The other option for Dhoni would be to hand Pawan Negi a chance. The left-arm spinner who recently became the costliest Indian player in IPL, would be a like-for-like replacement for Yuvraj, because of his batting abilities.
Yuvraj, who was dismissed on 21 against Australia, was in pain after twisting his ankle and had to be attended by the physio in the middle.
Rahane should be match ready if the need arises and even before the Australia game, he had an extended session at the nets of the IS Bindra Stadium.
Rahane and Pandey also had extended net sessions at Brabourne stadium in Mumbai ahead of the semi-final.
Shane Watson, who retired with the Mohali loss, was asked about his former IPL teammate Rahane not finding a place in the XI.
"Jinks (Rahane) I think is a very good player. But where do you fit him with the quality of Indian batting line-up? He certainly knows how to score in all conditions," Watson had said.
With PTI inputs
First Published On : Mar 31, 2016 11:17 IST