Dhawan ruled out of World Cup, India call up Rishabh Pant

2019 Cricket World Cup
Shikhar Dhawan India Australia World Cup PA

Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, with India confirming on Wednesday that Rishabh Pant will replace the left-handed opener in the 15-man squad.

Dhawan suffered the injury during the win over Australia – a game in which he extended his fine record in England with a century – but there were initial hopes that he would be able to return for the latter stages of the tournament.

But he has now been diagnosed with a fracture in his left hand that means he will remain in a cast until the middle of July and therefore has no hope of featuring again in the tournament. The final at Lord’s is on July 14.

Explosive keeper-batsman – a controversial omission from the original squad – had already joined up with the squad as cover in case this move was necessary. The BCCI have confirmed that an application has been made to the ICC for Pant to be Dhawan’s replacement.

The BCCI tweeted: “Shikhar Dhawan has been diagnosed with a fracture of the first metacarpal on his left hand following a ball impact injury during the team’s match versus Australia at the Oval on 5th June 2019.

“Following several specialist opinions he will remain in a cast until the middle of July and therefore will not be available for the remainder of CWC19.”

India are currently fourth in the World Cup standings and firmly on course for a semi-final spot, and are next in action against Afghanistan on Saturday at Southampton.

India are clearly well stocked for batsmen, and Pant is a high-class addition, but Dhawan will be missed. He is something of a tournament specialist for India having been their leading run-scorer at their last five major tournaments – the Asia Cups of 2014 and 2018, the Champions Trophies of 2013 and 2017 – both held in England – as well as the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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