Ajinkya Rahane is one of the contenders to replace Yuvraj Singh © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane is one of the contenders to replace Yuvraj Singh © AFP

Former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly on Thursday agreed that right-handed batsman Ajinkya Rahane should be selected in the Indian cricket team, for their T20 World Cup 2016 semi-final versus West Indies. The Indian cricket team suffered a massive blow on Wednesday when their star all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2016 due to an ankle injury, and Manish Pandey was drafted into the side ahead of their semi-final match in Mumbai. However, both Tendulkar and Ganguly are of the opinion that not Pandey, but Rahane should be selected in the Indian cricket team for the semi-final. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies, 2nd Semi-Final match at Mumbai

“I think Rahane should replace Yuvraj. It is his home ground and he has scored lots of runs here. He knows what to expect here and that’s an advantage for India,” Tendulkar told the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak. ALSO READ: T20 World Cup 2016, 2nd Semi-Final: India likely XI against West Indies

Ganguly, who played a key role in successfully organising the India versus Pakistan match earlier in the tournament, said selecting someone like Pawan Negi will make India’s batting weak.

Ganguly said, “It’s (Yuvraj injury) a huge blow for India. India will miss his bowling. There is a difference in opinion between Negi and Rahane. It also depends on the pitch. I don’t think Negi should play in place of Yuvraj. It will make the batting weak. Rahane has the experience and the ability to play well in the big matches.”

“He should be batted at No. 4. He may not be a hard-hitting T20 player but will do the job. If Dhoni feels the pitch will turn, he should drop Hardik Pandya and play Negi,” Ganguly said.

The Little Master was of the opinion that the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will help the seam bowlers on Thursday night. “This pitch will help seamers. The ball will come on to the bat nicely. There is no question about his class as a batsman but I don’t think Yuvraj would have played a role with the ball,” Tendulkar said.