Yuvraj Singh has been a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up    AFP
Yuvraj Singh has been a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up AFP

India suffered a massive blow on Wednesday afternoon, a day before their T20 World Cup 2016 semi-final against West Indies, when Yuvraj Singh was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. Right-handed batsman Manish Pandey has been added in the Indian side in place of Yuvraj Singh, who was in tremendous pain during the game versus Australia. Yuvraj has been a key member in Indian cricket team, and has played a huge role in their recent surge in T20 cricket. Yuvraj’s absence will deplete the Indian middle order, which has done a terrific job as far as their recent wins are concerned. ALSO READ: Yuvraj Singh may be ruled out of T20 World Cup: Reports

Yuvraj twisted his ankle during India’s famous win over Australia in the final match of the Group 2, wherein he partnered with Virat Kohli once again to add 45 runs for the fourth wicket in their win by 6 wickets. Yuvraj has been a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up, as he and Kohli provided India not only stability but many match winning partnerships in the recent past. In both their games against Pakistan recently in the Asia Cup 2016 as well as in the ongoing T20 World Cup it was Yuvraj and Kohli’s partnerships that made the difference.

Pandey, who has been added in place of Yuvraj, was last seen on the international circuit during India’s tour of Australia. Playing in his only fourth ODI, Pandey struck his maiden century to help India chase 331 in the fifth and final ODI. The win at Sydney marked India’s revival, following which they thrashed Australia 3-0 in the T20 series that followed.

The International Cricket Council informed on Wednesday afternoon, “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. Yuvraj twisted his ankle while batting in the previous match against Australia in Mohali and has been ruled out of further participation in the tournament. The 26-year-old Pandey has played two T20Is, which were against Zimbabwe in Harare in July last year. He has also played four ODIs.” READ: Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni: Even the greatest have cracking points

The release added, “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.”

It continued, “The Event Technical Committee of the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 is Geoff Allardice (ICC General Manager Cricket, Chairman), Anurag Thakur (host representative), MV Sridhar (Tournament Director), Campbell Jamieson (IBC representative & ICC General Manager Commercial), and Ian Bishop and Nick Knight ((independent nominees). The 2007 champion India will take on 2012 winner the West Indies in the second semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai at 19.00 local on Thursday, March 31.”