Indian team management and selectors not on same page over Shikhar Dhawan’s cover

Indian team management and selectors not on same page over Shikhar Dhawan’s cover

Rishabh Pant will board a flight from Delhi to Manchester on Thursday.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan got hit on his thumb during the match against Australia which turned out to be a hairline fracture and won’t be able to take part in the World Cup for the next three weeks or so. The injury came after his match-winning century versus Australia at the Kennington Oval in London. Thereafter, there has been a lot of commotion in Indian cricket trying to find the southpaw’s replacement/cover.

However, on Wednesday, June 12, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Rishabh Pant is set to join the Indian squad as a cover for the 33-year-old Dhawan. Nevertheless, it has now emerged that the Indian team management and the national selectors weren’t on the same page over the 21-year-old Pant’s inclusion in the team.

Shastri and Kohli ready to wait for Dhawan

Reports also suggest that Dhawan’s chances of recovering in time look grim for the moment. But the management is looking up to cases where many athletes have recovered quicker than expected. Prior to India’s clash versus New Zealand in Nottingham, assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said that Dhawan is so ‘precious’ that head coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli are ready to wait.

The selection panel, headed by MSK Prasad, is presently in England and was pretty clear in mentioning that a replacement was needed bearing in mind Dhawan’s present condition.

“… But the team management seemed against the idea as a replacement would have meant that Dhawan would practically have no chance of making it if India goes into the semi-finals. Look at his hands. It’s plastered and things are not great,” a BCCI source privy to the development was quoted as saying in The Indian Express.

“He (Pant) bats in the middle-order, and obviously being a left-hander (also) helps. He was named in the standby as well. So the team management has gone and picked him for the order,” the source added.

The delay in naming Pant as the cover was owing to the necessary clearance that the BCCI had to procure from the administrators and the office bearers. Pant will board a flight from Delhi to Manchester on Thursday, June 13.