Dhawan out of WC, Pant induction awaits nod - GulfToday

Dhawan out of WC, Pant induction awaits nod

Shikhar Dhawan

India’s Shikhar Dhawan (left) listens to a member of team support staff in the nets during a training session on Wednesday. Associated Press

Southampton: India opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a fractured finger, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Wednesday.

The in-form batsman suffered the break while facing Australia’s Pat Cummins in India’s second match of the tournament at the Oval on June 9.

Dhawan carried on batting and scored a century to earn the man-of-the-match award as India beat the reigning champions by 36 runs.

But the 33-year-old left-hander did not field and has not featured in the World Cup since his century at Surrey’s headquarters in south London.

Rishabh Pant, a dynamic batsman and wicketkeeper, is set to replace Dhawan in India’s squad ahead of their match against Afghanistan at Southampton on Saturday.

“Shikhar has a fracture at the base of his first metacarpal on his left hand,” team manager Sunil Subramanian told reporters in Southampton.

“Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast until mid-July, which rules him out of the ICC World Cup 2019.” India, who will still require the formal approval of the World Cup event technical committee before calling up the 21-year-old Pant into their tournament squad, summoned the dynamic left-hander last week as concerns mounted over Dhawan’s fitness.

“He (Pant) bats in the middle order and obviously being a left-hander helps and he was named in the standbys as well, so the team management has gone and picked him,” said India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar last week.

An emotional Dhawan said on Wednesday that the “show must go on” without him at the ongoing World Cup after the India opener was ruled out of the showpiece event due to a thumb fracture.

“I feel emotional to announce that I will no longer be a part of #CWC19. Unfortunately, the thumb won’t recover on time. But the show must go on... I’m grateful for all the love & support from my teammates, cricket lovers & our entire nation,” Dhawan said in a tweet.

“The boys are doing a great job at the moment and will continue the good work and win the World Cup,” Dhawan added.

Meanwhile, Indian team is waiting for an update on the status of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness. Speaking to the media after a two-day break post India’s thrashing win over arch-rivals Pakistan, the team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu said that the pacer was being assessed by physio Patrick Farhart after he was down with hamstring niggle.

“Our physiotherapists are looking after Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the moment and we will know the status very shortly,” Basu said.

Bhuvneshwar, who has picked up five wickets thus far in the tournament, suffered tightness in his left hamstring while bowling the fourth ball of his third over during India’s match against Pakistan at Old Trafford. Vijay Shankar came in to complete the over and ended up picking a wicket off his very first ball.

Captain Virat Kohli had said after the match that the 29-year-old had sustained a slight niggle and would be out for two to three matches. “Slight niggle for Bhuvi, he slipped on one of the footmarks. He’s out for two, maybe three games, but he should come back for us at some stage during this tournament,” Kohli said during the post-match ceremony.

Indo-Asian News Service