Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten century in India’s first match against the Protease. S Dhawan followed it up with a classy century against the Australians and it looked like the Indian openers were going to set the 2019 ICC World Cup on fire.
Sadly for S Dhawan, he isn’t going to be able to do that anymore. The left handed batsman took a blow to his hand in the game against Australia. Scans have confirmed that he has suffered a hairline fracture which could very well rule him out for the rest of the tournament.
The BCCI will fly in a replacement for Dhawan who will continue to remain in England as Team India remains hopeful that he will recover before the World Cup is over.
Karthik or Shankar?
Team India’s first challenge is to find a replacement for the game against New Zealand which takes place on June 13. The two options that Kohli has come in the form of wicket-keeper batsman D Karthik who has done well in England on occasion and the all-rounder V Shankar.
Before the World Cup could start, V Shankar was slotted to take the number four slot until KL Rahul scored a century in the warm up games and made it his own. Rahul is an opening batsman and could very well be pushed up the order. This would give V Shankar the number four spot and another bowling option for Kohli.
Should Shastri and Kohli decide to go with D Karthik, they might try him at the top of the order with R Sharma and let KL Rahul keep the number four spot where he has done well. A lot will depend on whether KL Rahul feels comfortable at four or if he is keen on going up the order.
Is R Pant Going To Fly In?
While the BCCI is yet to confirm who is going to fly to England as a replacement, social media reports suggest that R Pant has got the call. There were many people who were disappointed when Pant was not included in the World Cup squad of 15. Should Pant get the opportunity, it will be interesting to see if they decide to use him at number four or if they back him to play his explosive brand of cricket at the top of the order.
We will have to wait for a few more days to see how team India handles the loss of S Dhawan!