Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was named as replacement for injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar in India’s 2019 World Cup squad on Monday.
Shankar had injured his toe during training before the game against Afghanistan but went on to play that game and the match against the West Indies. But he sat out the game against England on Sunday, which India lost, with Rishabh Pant playing in his place.
It is the latest injury setback for India after regular opener Shihhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured finger. Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar too is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Shankar’s place in the team has gone to Karnataka batsman Agarwal, who has played two Tests but is yet to play an ODI.
His selection has come as a surprise as experienced middle order batsman Ambati Rayudu had been waiting in the wings. Until last year, Rayudu was the first choice number 4 batsman and did reasonably well.
After he was omitted from the World Cup squad, with the selectors going for ‘three-dimensional’ talent of Shankar, Rayudu took to social media and talked about ordering ‘3D glasses’ for the World Cup. That post didn’t go down well with the Indian management.
With KL Rahul not setting the stage alight at the top of the order, Mayank might end up making his ODI debut in this World Cup. In that case, either Rahul, Pant or Kedar Jadhav will be forced to sit out.
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