Thumb strain all but takes Dhawan out of WC
New Delhi: Team India’s man-of-the-match against Australia, Shikhar Dhawan, is all but out of the ongoing 2019 World Cup campaign after suffering a hairline fracture on his left thumb on Sunday.
This massive jolt has not shaken just the team’s dressing room but has also sent an SOS to the senior selection committee to look for a quick replacement to reach England in time for the next game against New Zealand on June 13 (Thursday).
Dhawan is currently being assessed by the team’s physiotherapist Patrick Farhart, and other specialists are being consulted to evaluate his fitness.
“The initial information that has reached us is that Shikhar is out for two to three weeks,” a BCCI insider told DNA. “The status of injury is likely to emerge soon.”
When asked if a request has been made for a replacement by team management? “Not yet,” was the reply.
The Indian team spokesperson said on Tuesday that “theteam management has decided that Mr Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored.”
There could be a slight delay in naming 33-year-old Dhawan’s replacement because of ICC’S stiff rules in this regard. This despite the fact that three of the five selectors – MSK Prasad (chairman), Sarandeep Singh and Debang Gandhi – are currently in England with the squad.
In the normal course, the selection chief would have to meet with team management before naming a replacement. But in this case, no decision can be reached before a full medical report that stipulates the recovery period Dhawan is likely to need.
The ICC rulebook states that “once replaced by another player, Shikhar can only come back to the squad if another player is injured and the tournament technical committee is satisfied with that replacement”.
A dilemma manifests if Dhawan can recover in time for the knockouts.
According to an insider, the 33-year-old middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu and young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant are in contention to replace Dhawan. And, neither of them are openers.
“KL Rahul can open the innings along with Rohit Sharma, but Rayudu’s inclusion can strengthen our middle-order batting,” reasoned the source. “Especially considering that the No. 4 slot has not been taken by anyone since he (Rayudu) was omitted from the squad on account of his form slump.” Turn to P4