World Cup 2019: 3 Cricketers who can replace Shikhar Dhawan in the playing XI against New Zealand
Who will India include in the team?
Published - Jun 12, 2019 4:19 pm | Updated - Jun 12, 2019 4:19 pm
India started their World Cup campaign on a perfect note. After defeating two heavyweights, they proved why the Men in Blue are regarded as favourites. However, a big shock was awaiting them. Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a century against Australia was ruled out of the action for three weeks after sustaining a hairline fracture on his left thumb.
The southpaw was in sublime touch and this loss has put the team one step behind. Although India does possess a backup opener in the form of KL Rahul, the number four debate, which had come to an end, has arisen again.
Since India has decided to back Dhawan and monitor his progress, they will have to choose his replacement from the squad only. With multiple questions to answer, the Indian management finds itself in a corridor of uncertainty. The Indian team has struggled against New Zealand in the recent past, but they need to look beyond that loss and focus on the match.
Let us take a look at the three possible replacements for Shikhar:
1. Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar was initially drafted in the squad as the No.4 batsman if the chief selector MSK Prasad‘s words are to be believed. KL Rahul grabbed the middle-order spot with a century against Bangladesh in the warm-ups. Since Rahul would be opening against New Zealand, India might go back to Shankar.
Vijay has never played at the Number 4 spot before. But the way he had played in the 5th ODI against New Zealand will be a morale booster for him. He was run-out in that match, but not before stitching a 98-run partnership with Ambati Rayadu after India were left reeling at 18/4.
Besides, he can bowl 4-5 overs, which might prompt the team to give him a go. Shankar showed some glimpses of his form in the latter half of the IPL, and the opportunity beckons for him. The youngster has come a long way and deserves a chance.
This is a great chance for him to prove the experts wrong who had raised their eyebrows over his selection. It will be interesting to see how he plays if the management includes him in the XI.