Yuvraj’s absence will have an impact, says Shastri

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Mumbai, March 30 (IANS) India cricket team’s director Ravi Shastri on Wednesday said that injured batsman Yuvraj Singh’s absence will have an impact after the left-hander was ruled out of the remainder of the World Twenty20.

India face the West Indies in the second semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday night.

Yuvraj, who twisted his ankle while batting in the previous match against Australia in Mohali, has been ruled out of further participation in the tournament.

Right-hand batsman Manish Pandey has replaced the injured Yuvraj in the squad for the remainder of the tournament.

“It will have an impact, because he has had his moments. 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. Because after first four overs, it was a no contest,” Shastri said at the pre-match press conference here.

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“At one stage it looked 200 and plus, which would have been very difficult on that surface to chase. So he will be missed. 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 in the ankle. We will miss him,” he said.

Ajinkya Rahane, who has warmed the bench in the entire tournament, might be the one to fill in Yuvraj’s place.

When asked who might fill in the place, the former India batsman said, “We have not decided yet, Manish has just joined the party yesterday. We will take a look at everything in the nets and then see what will be out best options for tomorrow. Yes, we have to keep those overs in mind.”

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After suffering a disappointing loss to New Zealand in their campaign opener, 2007 inaugural World T20 champions India came back strongly to outclass Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia to enter the semis in style.

“At the end of the day you have to be consistent. You got to take it one game at a time. And that’s been our approach, with every T20 team we have played. We knew that there was a World Cup coming up. So we said let’s respect the format from the very beginning and treat every game as knockout. You got to win every game. So which means it doesn’t matter who the opposition is, you just play the game,” Shastri said.

Speaking on their Thursday’s opponent, the 53-year-old said their opposition has got explosive players who can win it on any given day.

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“I said that in the beginning. They are one of the most dangerous sides in this format. They have got explosive players. They have got match winners. So we know what we are up against. But we are up and ready as well. This is not a knock out for us. The knock out was last game. So that was a quarter final, this is a semi-final.”

“This format is so tight, as it is the shortest format of the game. Things can happen very quickly. There can be upsets on the way. But deep down you have to focus on your strengths, and what you do best, and keep hammering the way at that and take one step at a time. You can’t think too far ahead in this format,” Shastri concluded.

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