London, June 19: Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday (June 19) has been ruled out of the ICC World Cup 2019 with a thumb injury and Rishabh Pant will replace him in the squad.
Sunil Subramaniam, the Indian team manager at England, said: "Shikhar Dhawan has a fracture at the base of his first metacarpal of his left hand. He will remain in cast until mid-July which rules him out of the ICC World Cup. We have requested Rishabh Pant as replacement."
Pant is already in England after being flown to England last week when Dhawan suffered the injury. The left-handed opener suffered the fracture when Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins pinged on his thumb with a short-pitched ball on June 9 at the Oval. But Dhawan continued to bat and made a hundred in that match. He was later adjudged as man of the match.
Though batted, Dhawan did not field in that match when Australia chased the 300+ target. In the absence of Dhawan, KL Rahul was promoted as opener from the No 4 slot. Though the match against New Zealand at Nottingham was washed out, Rahul made a fifty in the match against Pakistan while opening the innings along with Rohit Sharma.
Now, Rahul will continue to open the innings. Since Rahul was moved up the order, Vijay Shankar was included in the XI and now India have the option to fielding Pant in the final XI. Though, it remains to be seen that at which slot the team management play Pant, if they indeed take a call in that direction.
Pant has so far played 5 ODIs and made 93 runs at a shade over 23 with a highest of 36. In contrast, Pant has a better record in Test cricket, scoring 696 runs from 9 matches at 49.7 with two hundreds and two fifties.
India had also suffered another injury scare when Bhuneshwar Kumar limped out of the Pakistan match with a hamstring niggle. But he is under observation and is due to miss next two matches at least.