Shikhar Dhawan’s injury has presented the Indian cricket team and the management with a different challenge ahead of their clash against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Trent Bridge. However, according to sources, Rishabh Pant has now been flown in as a cover for Dhawan. However, Pant won't be considered a replacement till the time the team management takes a final call on Dhawan's availability for the rest of the tournament. Currently, the BCCI medical team is monitoring Dhawan’s injury but the left-hander has been ruled out of the games between New Zealand the clash against Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester.
A source close to the development told PTI in Trent Bridge, “Pant is being flown in from India as cover at the request of the team management.”
Pant’s omission from the World Cup squad had raised plenty of questions. The young left-hander had become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score two centuries in overseas Tests. Pant had blasted 114 at The Oval against England in 2018 while he smashed 159 against Australia in Sydney in a series which India won 2-1, their first-ever series win Down Under.
Dhawan has been ruled out of three matches due to a hairline fracture on his left thumb which he sustained during his match-winning hundred in the clash against Australia on Sunday. “Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team. The team management has decided that Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored. Dhawan sustained an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb," the Indian team said in a statement on Wednesday night.
India will play New Zealand in a World Cup encounter after 16 years. Dhawan’s injury is a big blow, considering how the left-hander’s 17th century helped India beat Australia in a World Cup for the first time after eight years. India notched up the highest team score in World Cups against Australia thanks to Dhawan’s 117 and Virat Kohli’s 50th fifty.