World Cup 2019: Batting coach Sanjay Bangar gives an update on Shikhar Dhawan’s injury

Dhawan has been ruled out of at least New Zealand and Pakistan games for now.

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

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The thumb injury to India opener Shikhar Dhawan in the match against Australia at the Oval on Sunday came as a huge shock for both the team and the fans. Dhawan had just hit a hundred in the same game in which he sustained the injury and was ruled out for three weeks. The ace southpaw’s exit makes it even challenging for the Indian team management for an entirely new batting combination has to be thought out now for the remaining games.

Though India have called up Rishabh Pant as Dhawan’s cover, the 33-year-old ‘Gabbar’ has been asked to stay with the squad. His recovery will be closely monitored as India remain hopeful that the man goes out to bat again in the game’s biggest tournament.

Dhawan scored 117 off 109 balls against Australia – his third hundred in the World Cup and sixth in an ICC event – to help India register a 36-run win. It was during his knock that the southpaw was hit on the thumb by Aussie pacer Pat Cummins and did not field. India play New Zealand in their next game at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Batting coach Sanjay Bangar has given an update on Shikhar Dhawan’s fitness saying any call on the batsman can be taken only after a gap of 10-12 days. “As far as Shikhar [Dhawan] is concerned, around the 10th or 12th day we’ll be able to assess,” Bangar, a former India cricketer, said in a press conference ahead of the New Zealand clash.

Dhawan’s absence will put India under two questions

Shikhar Dhawan’s absence will put the Indian team management under two challenges. First, it has to find an alternative opener which could be KL Rahul but unsettling of the famed opening pair of Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will not be a happy thing to happen.

Secondly, if Rahul goes up the order, India will have to find a No.4, a problem that had kept them guessing all throughout. Rahul offered a solution to the No.4 problem by scoring a hundred against Bangladesh in a warm-up game but his promotion could now bring into picture the likes of Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik.