India have been dealt a big blow in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England with opener Shikhar Dhawan set to be sidelined for a lengthy spell following the thumb injury he picked up in the win over Australia.
Dhawan struck a sublime ton to lead India’s charge to a 36-run win over the Aussies but had to bat with some discomfort for the majority of his innings after being struck on his thumb early in the match by a Pat Cummins delivery.
According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the southpaw has a suspected hairline fracture on his left thumb and could now miss India’s upcoming clashes against New Zealand and arch-rivals Pakistan.
Dhawan has reportedly travelled to Leeds to undergo further scans on his thumb and some concrete news on his injury status is expected to emerge late on Tuesday. Some reports have claimed that the batsman could be out for as many as three weeks and that could see him miss most of India’s matches in the round-robin stage.
The BCCI are yet to name any replacement for Dhawan and a final call will likely be taken after the results of his scans on Tuesday.
The left-hander’s potential absence for the coming games will be a big blow for India given the excellent record he has in ICC multi-team tournaments. He has more than 1,200 runs in 20 matches when it comes to the World Cup and Champions Trophy and has managed to register six tons and four fifties in the process.
Should Dhawan be ruled out for the coming matches, India could promote KL Rahul up the order to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. Rahul was initially picked in the World Cup squad as a back-up opener but has gone on to establish himself as the designated No4 batsman in the tournament.
Virat Kohli has the option of bringing in someone like Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar into the middle-order while moving Rahul up to open the innings.
India have currently bagged two wins out of two in the 2019 World Cup with their next clash set to take place against New Zealand on Thursday at Trent Bridge.
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