Yuvraj ruled out for six weeks

Yuvraj Singh, the destructive India left-hander, will miss the Champions Trophy due to a fractured finger.

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Yuvraj Singh, the destructive India left-hander, will miss the Champions Trophy due to a fractured finger, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said yesterday. The cornerstone of India's middle-order suffered the injury during a fielding session in Johannesburg yesterday in preparation for the game against Pakistan on Saturday. "Yuvraj Singh has fractured a finger in his right hand and has been ruled out for six weeks," the BCCI said in a statement.

The selectors named the young Delhi batsman and former India Under 19 captain Virat Kohli as his replacement. India have been plagued with injuries of late. Virender Sehwag has a shoulder injury. Gautam Gambhir, who sat out of the team's practice match against New Zealand, is nursing a groin strain. Meanwhile Ricky Ponting has said Australia's 6-1 demolition of England in their one-day series was achieved with the Champions Trophy in mind.

Australia have won the last three global 50-over events and their captain wants more success. "This certainly won't be just another tournament for us," he said. "We have been on the road for a long time but this is the second biggest one-day tournament you play for your country in one-day cricket. We have had an eye on this tournament for the last couple of weeks in England. "Since the Ashes series it's been about getting things on track for here. It shouldn't be too difficult for us to adapt. One of the positives of being away for so long is that we have been playing a lot of cricket. And a lot of good one-day cricket. We are playing as good as any other team going around at the moment. The level of cricket we played in England over the last seven games was particularly good."

And despite the 2-1 Ashes loss to England, Ponting said the spirit in the camp is buoyant. "The mood for the last few months has been particularly good," he said. Australia's first match in Group A will be on Saturday against a West Indies team shorn of its premier players due to a contractual dispute with their board. * Agencies