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World Cup 2019: Harsha Bhogle opines on Indian team’s dilemma about replacing Shikhar Dhawan

India next faces New Zealand on June 13 in Nottingham.

Harsha Bhogle
Harsha Bhogle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shikhar Dhawan’s ICC World Cup 2019 might have come to an end, after a fracture was revealed on the thumb of his left hand after India’s match against Australia on June 9, Sunday. Dhawan was hit on the hand during his innings as India batted first after winning the toss, but continued to bat after receiving medical assistance. He has been ruled out of the tournament for three weeks after scans revealed the bad news.

Dhawan scored 117, his 17th ODI and 3rd World Cup century to help India post 352 with Kohli making 82, Rohit making 57 and cameos from Hardik and Dhoni. Australia couldn’t manage to hold their own in front of a formidable Indian bowling attack, as Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar picked three wickets each to win India the match by 36 runs. Dhawan was replaced in the field by Ravindra Jadeja during Australia’s innings.

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Harsha Bhogle points out the problem with Dhawan’s absence  

Dhawan’s injury has become an issue as he will be missing major matches against New Zealand, Pakistan, England, and Afghanistan in those three weeks and after the 21 days of absence, will again have to undergo scans to deem his fitness level and whether he is cleared to play is a different matter altogether.

Eminent Indian presenter Harsha Bhogle recently mentioned on his official Twitter account that the opener’s three-week absence has left the Indian team management with just two options. One is to call in someone from India to replace him for the remainder of World Cup. But it will mean that he won’t be able to return to the team even if he gets fit unless someone else gets injured and Dhawan replaces him.

The second option is to wait for him to get fit enough and till then have the faith on Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar to take over the no.4 batting spot in the lineup, with KL Rahul opening the innings with Rohit Sharma.

Bhogle tweeted, “If indeed Dhawan is out for 3 weeks, India has a tough decision ahead of them. Do they seek a replacement, in which case he is out of the tournament (unless back as a replacement for another player) or do they back Shanker and Karthik to bat at 4 till he is fit again.”

Both the options have their pros and cons and while the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer can replace Dhawan, the opener will not get a chance to join the team again if he gets fit in time for the semis, given India qualifies for the same. But, on the other hand, Vijay Shankar was picked as the original choice for no.4 spot and he should get a chance to show off his skills at the spot.

India next faces New Zealand on June 13 in Nottingham.

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