Vasu comes out with a hamstring injury; Aaradhya Yadav replaces him

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday approved Aaradhya Yadav as a replacement for Vasu Vats in the Indian squad ahead of the U-19 Cricket World Cup Super League semi-final match against Bangladesh at the Coolidge Cricket Ground here later Saturday.

Vats injured his hamstrings and will no longer be able to participate in the event. The player’s replacement has been approved by the ICC Event Technical Committee.

The ICC also said in a statement that an Indian player received positive PCR test results for COVID-19 as part of the event’s official testing programme. The player is currently in self-isolation.

Although the ICC did not release the player’s name, a report on espncricinfo.com said the all-rounder Nishant Sindhu will miss the quarter-finals after testing positive for COVID-19.

Sindhu was named captain for two league matches in the absence of regular skipper Yash Dhull. So far, he has played a key role as a left-arm economy spinner, taking four wickets at an average of 14.25 and an economy rate of 2.75.

Players who test positive in the competition are expected to serve at least seven days of quarantine, meaning Sindhu will also likely be unavailable for the semi-final – against Australia on February 2 – if India beat Bangladesh on Saturday.

Meanwhile, five Indian cricketers infected with COVID-19, including skipper Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, have recovered and are available for the quarter-final against Bangladesh.

Dhull, Rasheed, Sidharth Yadav, Aaradhya Yadav and Manav Parakh had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the game against Ireland and India had struggled to field a playing XI on the park.

The availability of these five previously positive players has strengthened the Indian squad. Dhull and Rasheed are expected to fit into a batting line-up that averages nearly 315 runs per inning while Siddarth, Aaradhya Manav are also up for selection in the playing XI.

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