Southampton, June 20: Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar expects injured Shikhar Dhawan to come back strongly from the injury setback that has forced him out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and backed the opener's replacement Rishabh Pant to do well in his debut WC.
Dhawan was Wednesday (June 19) forced out of the mega-event owing to a fractured left thumb, an injury that he picked up during the June 9 clash against Australia. The swashbuckler scored a match-winning hundred while playing through pain in that game.
"Feel for you Shikhar. You were playing well & to be injured in the middle of such an important tournament is heartbreaking. I'm sure you'll come back stronger than ever," Tendulkar tweeted.
Feel for you Shikhar. You were playing well & to be injured in the middle of such an important tournament is heartbreaking. I’m sure you’ll come back stronger than ever.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 20, 2019
Rishabh you’ve been playing well & there can’t be a bigger platform to express yourself. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/T7qzKcDfoO
Replacing Dhawan in the team is the 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Pant, who has impressed one and all with aggressive hundreds during maiden Test tours of England and Australia.
"Rishabh you've been playing well & there can't be a bigger platform to express yourself. Good luck!," Tendulkar.
Former Australia cricketer Mike Hussey too described the senior Delhi batsman's ouster as a "big loss" but said it won't derail Men In Blue's campaign at the showpiece event.
I feel emotional to announce that I will no longer be a part of #CWC19. Unfortunately, the thumb won’t recover on time. But the show must go on.. I'm grateful for all the love & support from my team mates, cricket lovers & our entire nation. Jai Hind!🙏 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/zx8Ihm3051— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 19, 2019
"I do think it's a big loss but I don't think it will derail India's campaign. I think they have got enough depth to cover Shikhar Dhawan," Hussey said in an ESPNcricinfo show.
"I still think they have got enough talent in their squad to feel that they can go all the way in this tournament," he added.
India will play their next match on Saturday against minnows Afghanistan. The two-time champions are undefeated in the ongoing edition.