Dhawan has been ruled out for three weeks due to a thumb injury.
India’s World Cup 2019 campaign has been encountered with a body blow. Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a century against Australia, has been ruled out for three weeks from the mega event. The left-handed batter developed a thumb injury after being hit on his thumb by a rising ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile. Despite getting hit, he went on to score a match-winning ton, helping his team post 352 on the board.
He didn’t even come to the field during the Australian innings and Ravindra Jadeja was his substitute. He was scheduled to undergo scans on Tuesday, the results of which are definitely not something to cheer about for Dhawan and the team management. After the jolt ahead of their match against New Zealand at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the team would be desperate to find his appropriate replacement.
Here are five players who can replace the 33-year-old Dhawan in the Indian squad
1. Rishabh Pant
Prior to India’s squad announcement in April, many expected Rishabh Pant to make the cut for the 50-overs tournament. However, he missed the bus as Dinesh Karthik was preferred ahead of him in the squad. Karthik got in as MS Dhoni’s backup keeper. The 21-year-old Pant played the five-match home ODI series against Australia and many reckoned that he should be selected in the World Cup squad.
The southpaw made his debut last year versus the Windies and has scored only 93 runs in five matches at an average of 23.25. But he dished out some superlative knocks in the 2019 IPL and impressed one and all. He has been a grand success in Test cricket with already a couple of centuries against England and Australia under his belt. The southpaw now will be praying to get in the national squad for the World Cup.
2. Mayank Agarwal
The Karnataka batsman has shown a tremendous level of consistency in India’s domestic circuit. The performances didn’t evade the eyes of the selectors. He was drafted into the India A team and didn’t flatter to deceive even there. Last year, during India’s tour of Australia, the young Prithvi Shaw developed an ankle injury and Agarwal made his debut in the Test at the iconic MCG in Melbourne.
He immediately captured the imaginations, having scored 195 runs in two matches at an incredible average of 65 with a top score of 77. But he hasn’t yet been able to break into the Indian limited-overs team thus far. The 28-year-old did exceptionally in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy and then expertly plied his trade for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. He can undoubtedly be roped in as Dhawan’s replacement.
3. Shubman Gill
The 19-year-old Shubman Gill became the Player of the Tournament in the 2018 edition of the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. He also scored a century against Pakistan in that U19 event. Soon after, the Fazilka-born got a contract for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL and then got into the India A team as well. The right-hander had a tremendous outing for Punjab in the 2018-19 edition of the Ranji Trophy.
Gill’s massive break came in India’s tour of New Zealand during the ODI series. Gill was drafted into the squad, but he didn’t get to play the first three matches. Thereafter, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, went on a break and Gill made his debut at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. Though he couldn’t step up in the two ODIs he played, he’s speculated to have a bright future. He can well be drafted in for the World Cup.
4. Ambati Rayudu
After a stupendous outing in the 2018 edition of the IPL, Rayudu was blessed with a chance in the Asia Cup that year. With some superlative knocks, he cemented his place and was also expected to be India’s answer to the number four slot. Nevertheless, fate had something cruel in store for the Guntur-born cricketer and he experienced a slump in form that eventually led to his omission from the Indian team.
To add insult to injury, he couldn’t find a place in the World Cup squad. The decision came as a surprise to many. Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut earlier this year versus the Aussies, was selected instead. Thereafter, Rayudu took an indirect dig at the selectors. He’s on standby and he can get a chance now. The 33-year-old will be keen to make amends if he gets an opportunity in the tournament.
5. Manish Pandey
The Nainital-born cricketer made his debut way back in July 2015 against Zimbabwe in Harare and has played only 28 ODIs thus far. However, he never could become a regular member of the Indian team, despite scoring 538 runs at an average of 41.38 at a strike-rate of 91.85. He also has a century versus the Aussies at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) that helped India chase down a mammoth 331 in 50 overs.
Thereafter, he could only manage one half-century against Sri Lanka in Colombo. In the 2018 Asia Cup, he played one match versus Afghanistan and hasn’t got a chance until now. Of late, he has shown decent form as he chipped in with three half-centuries for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2019. Though he has been out of contention, there’s an outside chance of him getting selected for the World Cup.