World Cup 2019: How will Shikhar Dhawan's absence affect India's campaign?
- The 33-year old southpaw's absence from the top of the order could see a major shuffle in India's batting line-up.
In a big blow to India's campaign at the World Cup 2019, star opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the competition for atleast three weeks after he sustained a thumb fracture in the game against Australia on Sunday.
Dhawan was hit on his thumb by a Pat Cummins bouncer but went on to score a resilient hundred. However, owing to the injury, the 33-year-old southpaw will miss a massive chunk of the tournament.
The opening partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma has always created problems for many teams as it is a left hand-right hand combination that results in the continuous field and strategy changes and it will be compelling to see how India counters this problem now that Dhawan will not be available.
According to the Latest news, Rishabh Pant is being flown to England by the BCCI as a potential cover for injured Dhawan. However, the 21-year-old will not be considered as a replacement until the team management decides to take a final call on Dhawan's availability.
Moreover, the Indian batting line-up, which is devoid of left-handed batsman after Dhawan's departure will now be an all-right hand batsman unit. While Pant cannot be selected until Dhawan is ruled out, his lack of experience also does not make a great case for him.
As a result, KL Rahul might be promoted up the order to open the innings with Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar will fill in the No.4 batting slot with neither Shankar or Karthik considered for opening the batting.
During this span of Dhawan's absence, India will face New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and West Indies in the group stage, with all these matches scheduled to be played in the month of June.
With Dhawan forming an imperative part of India's winning combination, his absence could well affect the team composition but will not be a pressing issue of concern. Dhawan is known for his excellent run of form during the ICC events and it will be interesting to see how India fares in these matches without his services.
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