World Twenty20 hosts India will be missing Yuvraj Singh for the rest of the tournament after the all-rounder was ruled out with an ankle injury and replaced by middle order batsman Manish Pandey on Wednesday.
Yuvraj, who played a crucial role in India’s triumph in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007, twisted his ankle while batting during Sunday’s six-wicket victory over Australia that secured India’s place in the last four.
“It will have an impact, because he has had his moments,” India team director Ravi Shastri said of Yuvraj, who also won the player of the tournament award in the team’s 2011 50-overs World Cup success at home.
“I thought his three overs were brilliant in the last game, that put the check and brakes on the scoring and allowed us to come back into the contest.
“Unfortunately, it is an injury that happened during the game, when he was taking off and did his ankle a bit and I believe it is a minor tear. We will miss him.”
Pandey, 26, will fancy his chances of playing when India take on 2012 champions West Indies in the second semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday, although Ajinkya Rahane will also stake his claim for a place in the starting side.
Pandey, the first batsman from his country to smash a century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition, has played only four one-day internationals and a couple of T20 internationals.
“We have not decided yet, Manish has just joined the party yesterday,” Shastri said, adding that they will also have to consider Yuvraj’s bowling duties.
“We will take a look at everything in the nets and then see what will be out best options for tomorrow.”