India will be up against Afghanistan on June 22 at Rose Bowl in Southampton (Image Credit: Twitter)
The Indian team is only the second team in the World Cup 2019 to stay unbeaten after the table toppers New Zealand. However, the all-rounder Vijay Shankar is the latest to suffer an injury scare in the Indian camp after being hit on toe on Wednesday during a training session and was forced to skip Thursday's session. During Wednesday's training, a Jasprit Bumrah yorker hit Shankar flush on his toes and he was apparently in pain.
However, a team source informed PTI that there's nothing to worry as of now. "Yes, Vijay was in pain, but it has subsided by the evening. Hopefully, there's nothing scary," the source said. On Thursday, Shankar was seen walking around in slippers with a slight limp. Later he tried jogging wearing gym trainers but gave up after half a lap.
He then did some basic exercises as others took part in usual fielding drills as well as net sessions. Shankar is one of the designated No 4 batsmen in the Indian line-up although he is being used as a floater. Shankar is also a handy medium pacer who got a couple important wickets against Pakistan including skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.
With Shikhar Dhawan already ruled out of the tournament due to thumb fracture and Bhuvneshwar Kumar out for two games due to hamstring strain, Shankar's injury will only increase tension for the team management. As of now Bhuvneshwar will not be bowling for eight days and will only be in contention for the England game (June 30) in Birmingham.
The team management, just like in Dhawan's case, is confident that Bhuvneshwar will be available during the business end of the tournament. While the team management and the BCCI dilli dallied in giving a proper picture with regards to Dhawan's injury, they are still maintaining that it is a left hamstring stiffness and not a tear for Bhuvneshwar.
In case of hamstring tear, there will be very little chance of comeback for Bhuvneshwar in the World Cup. Bhuvneshwar was also seen doing a bit of short strides and jogging but didn't take part in the nets. While Khaleel Ahmed, the stand-by pacer is with the team, in worst case scenario if Bhuvneshwar must be replaced, the team management can fall back on veteran Ishant Sharma, who seems to be dazzling stint as he is also on the list.