Shikhar Dhawan has not been in the best of forms in Test cricket, and was still given a chance to feature in the ongoing second Test against New Zealand at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. But the batsman's participation in the upcoming third and final Test in Indore is doubtful, as the left-hander was hit on the left thumb while batting.
The batsman suffered the injury during the second innings when New Zealand bowler Trent Boult hit Shikhar's thumb in the third over on Sunday. The physio had to come in to look at the player's thumb as well. Boult was peppering short balls to Shikhar, who did not look too comfortable, and Shikhar was later trapped leg before for 17 runs.
Shikhar was later taken to the hospital for x-ray, which showed that there was a crack in his thumb. There has been no official confirmation regarding the player for the third Test match, but he has been advised rest by doctors for a week at least.
"Dhawan's X-ray report suggests a bit of a crack in the thumb. So at this moment, there's uncertainty over whether he will be able to play in the next Test. He has been advised a week's rest at least by the doctors," The Telegraph India quoted a team source as saying.
Things do not look too good for Shikhar with the final Test match starting on Saturday. To make matters worse, Shikhar did not look any good with the bat in Kolkata Test, scoring 1 and 17 runs in the first and second innings respectively. So even if he is fit, he might not take the field.
With KL Rahul already ruled out of the Test series, and Shikhar Dhawan's injury and poor form, the stage seems to be set for Gambhir to make his Test comeback after two years. There were few eyebrows raised in the second Test when Shikhar was picked ahead of Gautam, but it would be very difficult to ignore Gambhir in the third Test.
Gambhir, who came in as replacement for KL Rahul, forced his way into the team with some strong domestic performances, and if the left-hander gets a chance to impress in the third Test, he should make it count.
This match is going to be of utmost importance to Gambhir, who can cement his place in the Indian side with a strong performance. He must force the selectors to consider him for the upcoming long home season, as England and Australia are two big teams set to play against India in the next few months.