A good show in the One-Day International series against England earlier this year might have given Yuvraj Singh a place in the Indian Team for the ICC Champions Trophy but the star batsman’s participation in the upcoming tournament is under doubt following a finger injury as well as a calf injury.
The 35-year old had suffered the injury while he was fielding at point against Mumbai Indians last week. Trying to stop a cut shot by Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj hurt his finger and immediately sat down before being treated by the physio. The injury also forced him to miss Sunrisers Hyderabad’s final league game against Gujarat Lions on Saturday (May 13).
With just a couple of weeks remaining before India embarks on its journey to defend the title in England, the left-handed batsman is in a race against time to get fit. But in case, the senior batsman fails to recover in time, the Indian team will have to select one player from the backup list for the eight-team tournament. The national selectors, while naming the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy, also announced a 5-man list of standby players to get picked into the team in case of any emergency of replacing any injured player in the team. The five players are Rishabh Pant, Suresh Raina, Kuldeep Yadav, Dinesh Karthik and Shardul Thakur.
So here, we are taking a look at the players from this list who can replace Yuvraj if he fails to recover in time:
The 19-year old hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman was one of the most notable players to miss out on a place in the team. Considered as the next big thing in Indian cricket, Pant has been making waves with his extraordinary exploits with the bat in the domestic circuit. The 19-year old grabbed the attention when he scored a belligerent 308 off 326 balls against Maharashtra in Ranji Trophy last year. He followed it up with a 48-ball hundred against Jharkhand, one of the fastest first-class centuries by an Indian. He finished Ranji Trophy as its fourth-highest run-getter with 972 runs in only 8 outings including four centuries and a couple of the fifties.
The left-handed batsman continued the same form in the ongoing Indian Premier League, scoring 321 runs in 13 matches including the stunning 43-ball 97 runs knock that helped the Delhi Daredevils to chase down 208 against Gujarat Lions.