There is good news & bad news for India’s U-19 team ahead of their quarter-final against Bangladesh. Let’s start with the bad news first, India’s all-rounder Nishant Sindhu will miss the quarter-final against Bangaldesh in the ongoing U-19 World Cup after testing positive for COVID-19. Now comes the good news, India is set to be led by captain Yash Dhull in Saturday’s fixture as he & four other players including vice-captain Shaikh Rasheed have tested negative for COVID-19 after testing positive earlier in the tournament.
Players who have tested positive during the fixture are expected to serve seven days of quarantine which clearly means Sindhu is also likely to be unavailable for the semi-final – against Pakistan or Australia on Wednesday – if they beat Bangladesh. However, Sindhu’s absence won’t affect India’s performance much as their five key players who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 will return to the squad. Dhull & Rasheed are expected to bolster India’s U-19 team’s batting line-up while Siddarth Yadav and Aaradhya Yadav are up for selection in the playing XI too.
India has 21 players to choose from. Sixteen out of seventeen players from India’s U-19 main squad remain available for selection along with five traveling reserves who were flown into the Caribbean following the first Covid-19 outbreak in the squad. If India needs to pick up players from 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.
With Nishant Sindhu returning positive results this is the fourth time that the U-19 World Cup has been affected by COVID-19. Before the start of the contest, four Zimbabwe players have tested positive for COVID-19 before the members of the Indian team also returned with positive results. West Indies, too, had to replace two players before their final group match because of Covid in their squad.