India were dealt with a serious blow on Thursday when rock solid defender Sandesh Jhingan was ruled out of their crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Bangladesh at Kolkata. The 26-year-old Jhingan, who was seen limping off in the second half during a friendly against NorthEast United FC, was confirmed that he won’t play in the match at Kolkata on October 15.
“Owing to an injury sustained in friendly game against @NEUtdFC, @SandeshJhingan has been ruled out from the forthcoming @FIFAWorldCup qualifier against Bangladesh on October 15. We wish him a speedy recovery,” the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said in a tweet.
India played out a 1-1 draw, but the injury would have serious repercussions on India’s defence with concerns hovering over defensive midfielder Pronay Halder and Rahul Bheke out of the reckoning due to a groin injury.
As for stats, India enjoys a commanding 15-2 win-loss record in 28 meetings but Bangladesh has managed to stay unbeaten in its last two fixtures (1-1 in SAFF Championships, 2013 and 2-2 in International friendly, 2014).
Last month, India secured the biggest result under Igor Stimac when their defence gave a good account of themselves in the absence of Sunil Chhetri to hold the 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar for a goalless draw. India, thus, became the first Asian side to avoid a defeat against Qatar in the current year.