The India opener Shikhar Dhawan is officially ruled out of ICC World Cup 2019 after sustaining a thumb injury in the encounter against Australia. The wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who has featured in five one-day Internationals for India, will replace him. Rishabh Pant was called by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ahead of the marqee clash against Pakistan to join the team for precautionary measures. In the meantime, he was seen practising with the team, and also cheered from crowd at Old Traffors in Manchester.
The moustache rolling southpaw has often been termed as the man of ICC tournaments, and even in the two games he featured this World Cup, he was looking in dazzling touch. Against the five-time champions, Australia, he even smashed a memorable hundred to set the platform for a big score. His contribution on and off the field will certainly be missed by India. Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, will be playing his first ICC 50-over tournament and will look to utilize his Indian Premier League (IPL) form in the games to come. However, with the playing XI looking settled, it looks highly unlikely that Rishabh will feature from the next game.
Rishabh Pant has scored 93 runs in the four innings, with the highest total of 36 runs against West Indies in the home series. He averages just over 23 in ODI cricket, which isn't anywhere near to his own set standards. Interestingly, India has now four wicket-keepers in the squad - MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul, and Rishabh Pant.
The Media Manager of BCCI while addressing the media said, "Shikhar Dhawan has a fracture at the base of the first metacarpal of his left hand. He will remain in cast until mid-July which rules him out of ICC World Cup. We have requested Rishab Pant as the replacement."
The Indian speedster, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, on the other hand, also suffered hamstring injury and has been ruled out for at least three coming games. The final statement on the 29-year-old is yet to be released by the BCCI. If at all, he is ruled out of the World Cup, the young sensation Khaleel Ahmed will certainly be India's first choice to replace him for the rest of the tournament.
Meanwhile, India will play their next game against the minnows of the tournament, Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Earlier in the tournament, India played against South Africa at the same ground and emerged as victorious.
Here's the tweet:
Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast until the middle of July and therefore will not be available for the remainder of #CWC19— BCCI (@BCCI) June 19, 2019