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Reports: Rishabh Pant set to take the flight to England to replace Shikhar Dhawan

The management feels that Shikhar Dhawan's injury is bad enough for a replacement.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan, the Indian left-handed batsman, has been all but ruled out of the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. During India’s match against Australia at the Kennington Oval in London, the southpaw copped a blow on his thumb off a bouncer from fast bowler Pat Cummins. Still, he kept on batting and scored a masterful century to take his team to a formidable 352 in 50 overs.

Dhawan didn’t come to the field and Ravindra Jadeja acted as the substitute for the entire Australian innings. After the 33-year-old Shikhar’s injury, the team management has asked Rishabh Pant to fly to England as a backup. It has also been learned that the 21-year-old Pant is set to be Dhawan’s replacement provided the latter gets ruled out of the entire tournament.

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“He’s as good as ruled out. It’s a huge blow. Once all the details on Dhawan’s injury are out, the team management will put out an official request for a replacement. And that replacement is going to be Pant. The injury is bad enough to ask for a replacement,” a source privy to the development was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).

Shikhar Dhawan- A big omission for Team India

As far as Dhawan is concerned, the preliminary reports on his injury confirmed a fracture. The team management is expected to get a thorough report at around 2 PM UK time (around 6:30 PM IST). Dhawan didn’t have a great time in the warm-ups and thereafter also flattered to deceive versus South Africa. The ton against the Aussies would’ve given him a whole lot of confidence.

For Pant, he was in contention early to find a spot as the backup keeper to MS Dhoni. Nevertheless, Dinesh Karthik pipped him in the eventual 15-man squad. The Uttarakhand-born keeper has played five ODIs thus far in which he has scored only 93 runs at an average of 23.25 with a strike-rate of 130.98.

After Pant was left out initially, many reckoned that his omission was a wrong move. Even after the World Cup snub, Rishabh didn’t give up and he racked up a truckload of runs in the 2019 edition of the IPL. The Young Turk will now wish to make the most of the opportunity if Dhawan’s journey comes to an end.

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