World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan out, Rishabh Pant in
Southpaw - Shikhar Dhawan - set to return home as thumb injury doesn't heal on time; originally-dropped Rishabh Pant makes it
Southampton: Members of the Indian team were keen to have a three-day break but that was curtailed and they held a practice session here yesterday, after which emerged the news that opener Shikhar Dhawan had been ruled out of the ongoing World Cup.
Interestingly, Team India practised for over three-and-a-half hours, and with full intensity under overcast conditions. There was rain too, not too heavy though, and the Men in Blue continued training. They began with a session of football and interestingly, even Dhawan was part of that football session. Watching him at practice, few would have imagined that this was going to be Dhawan's last practice session at this World Cup.
Shikhar thanks fans
Hours later, he posted a message on social media, thanking his fans for their love and prayers and mentioning that his thumb had not recovered on time, thereby ending his World Cup dream.
Dhawan, 33, fractured his left thumb during India's win over Australia on June 9 and was initially supposed to be out for three matches. However, after a fresh assessment of his thumb, it was learnt that he had failed to make a good enough recovery. Rishabh Pant, 21, who was flown in as cover for Dhawan, will now replace him in the side.
"Following several specialist consultations, Dhawan has been advised to keep his hand in a cast until mid-July. The opening batsman will not be available for the remainder of the tournament. An official request has been made to the ICC to consider Rishabh Pant as Dhawan's replacement," the BCCI said in a statement.
Meanwhile, opening batsman Rohit Sharma entered the nets first last morning and batted for long. Injured pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was seen doing some running under the keen observation of Team India physiotherapist Patrick Farhat. Bhuvneshwar pulled a hamstring during India's victory over Pakistan and had to leave the field after bowling just 2.4 overs. It was announced that he would be ruled out for the next two or three matches. However, Farhat claimed that it was not a major cause for concern. "It was just a niggle, not a hamstring injury. But we are still taking all precautionary measures," Farhat told mid-day yesterday.
Though the exact time when Bhuvneshwar will return is not known yet, Team India manager Sunil Subramaniam said that they are monitoring the fast bowler's fitness and progress.
Pacer Mohammad Shami should, in all likelihood, be taking Bhuvneshwar's place next-up against Afghanistan on Saturday, June 22. That will be the only change in the Indian team that played against Pakistan, which means Vijay Shankar will retain his place in the playing XI. Shami looked very sharp in the nets.
Farhat to stay on till West Indies tour
Physiotherapist Patrick Farhat has been coaxed into stay on till the conclusion of the West Indies tour where Team India will play three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests from August 3 to September 3.
Brisbane-based Farhat had expressed his desire to quit his job as a physiotherapist since constant touring is affecting his family life.
Farhat has been with the team since June 2016 and is very popular among the players.
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