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Yash Dhull and four others recover from Covid-19 and available for knockouts

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Allrounder Nishant Sindhu, who led in Dhull’s absence, has, however, tested positive ahead of the quarter-final against Bangladesh

India’s Under-19 allrounder Nishant Sindhu will miss the quarter-final against Bangladesh after testing positive for Covid-19. However, India are set to be led by regular captain Yash Dhull on Saturday after he and four others, including vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, returned negative Covid tests. Earlier, the five players were forced to miss two group games after returning positive tests.

In another development, Aaradhya Yadav has replaced Vasu Vats in India’s squad ahead of the Bangladesh fixture. Vats has sustained a hamstring injury and will be unable to take any further part in the tournament.

Meanwhile, players who test positive at the competition are expected to serve at least seven days of quarantine, which means Sindhu is also likely to be unavailable for the semi-final – against Pakistan or Australia on Wednesday – if India get there.

Despite Sindhu’s absence, the availability of the five previously positive players has bolstered India’s squad. Dhull and Rasheed are expected to slot into a batting line-up that averages nearly 315 runs per innings; Siddarth Yadav and Aaradhya Yadav are up for selection in the playing XI too. So far, Sindhu has played a key role as an economical left-arm spinner, taking four wickets at an average of 14.25 and an economy rate of 2.75.
India currently have 21 players to choose from. Sixteen of the 17 from the main squad remain available for selection, along with the five travelling reserves who were flown into the Caribbean following the first Covid-19 outbreak in the squad. If India need to dip into the pool of reserves, they will have to make a formal request to the ICC event technical committee for a temporary change in the squad.
Sindhu’s positive result makes it the fourth time that the Under-19 World Cup has been affected by Covid-19. Before the competition started, four Zimbabwe players tested positive before members of the Indian camp also returned positive results. West Indies, too, had to replace two players before their final group match because of Covid in their squad.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx


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