Cricket World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan's injury reignites India's No4 debate vs New Zealand

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Dhawan (r) is sidelined due to a thumb injury.

The only two teams still undefeated so far in the 2019 ICC World Cup will meet when India take on New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

It will be the fourth game in a row against Asian opposition for current leaders New Zealand who beat Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan previously in the tournament.

India, on the other hand, are searching for their third straight win after convincing victories against South Africa and defending champions Australia.

RAIN COULD SPOIL THE PARTY

Both India and New Zealand might still preserve their unbeaten status at the end of Thursday if the recent trend of rained-out matches continues in England. Three matches have been washed out in the World Cup in the past five days and the weather forecast for Nottingham on Thursday is not looking too bright either.

Showers are expected in intervals throughout the day and the chances of getting a full 50-over game are slim. The region has experienced heavy rainfall over the past few days and getting even a 20-over game between the two sides might be a bonus at this rate.

Another washed out game will only see the debate over the absence of reserve days in the World Cup rise.

KIWI PACE THREAT FOR INDIA

Three of the four leading wicket-takers currently at the World Cup are New Zealand pacers with Lockie Ferguson topping the charts with eight scalps to his name. Matt Henry is in second spot with seven wickets while James Neesham follows in fourth with six to his tally.

That list does not even include Trent Boult who has a formidable record against India. The Kiwi left-armed pacer has picked up 22 wickets in 12 ODIs against the Men in Blue and will relish the prospect of bowling at them under overcast conditions at Trent Bridge.

The same Kiwi bowling unit bowled India out for just 179 runs in the warm-up clash recently with Boult returning with figures of 4-33. They have so far claimed all 30 wickets on offer in the three matches they have played in the World Cup and will fancy their chances of making it 40 should the ball swing on Thursday.

Boult has an excellent record against India.

Boult has an excellent record against India.

DHAWAN INJURY RE-OPENS NO4 DEBATE

The Indians might have beaten five-time champions Australia in their most recent outing but it came at a huge cost. Opener Shikhar Dhawan has been confirmed to have fractured his thumb in the match and now faces the prospect of being sidelined for three weeks.

India are holding off on naming a replacement for now as they continue to assess the left-hander’s injury. As such, it seems only natural that KL Rahul will be moved up to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma against New Zealand. He was initially picked in the World Cup squad as a backup opener before pipping Vijay Shankar to the number four slot.

With Rahul moving up the order, the No4 debate has once again been reopened for India and they now have a decision to make. Shankar will be vying with Dinesh Karthik for the middle-order berth and his ability to bowl useful medium pace might just swing things in his favour.

Shankar (l) could bat at No4 for India.

Shankar (l) could bat at No4 for India.

LIKELY XIs

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

Know more about Sport360 Application

Recommended

Most popular