Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been confirmed as the replacement for Shikhar Dhawan after the latter was ruled out of the entire ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, in England due to a thumb injury.
The prolific opener suffered the injury after being hit by a Pat Cummins delivery during his 109-ball 117 knock against Australia. While the X-ray didn't show any fracture, CT scan revealed otherwise and Dhawan was taken to a specialist for further assessment. He was given time to recover but according to sources he needed two weeks to recover, leading to his omission from the squad for the rest of the tournament.
It will be a huge loss for the Virat Kohli-led side as the southpaw is a very important part of the team and was in form.
The 21-year-old, wicket-keeper batsman Pant, who plays for Delhi Capitals, was not included in the 15-member squad for the World Cup. Experienced campaigner Dinesh Kartik was selected instead of him which triggered mixed reactions from experts and fans. He had scored 488 runs in 16 matches of the IPL including three half-centuries. But the team management felt he is not ready for the World Cup. His performance for India is not that good though, he has played five ODIs scoring 93 runs at an average of 23.25. Considering his form in the IPL former cricketers around the world stated that the selectors played it 'safe' by choosing Kartik.
Rishabh Pant is already with the team as cover for Dhawan. He reached Manchester and joined the Indian team ahead of the clash against Pakistan. India are currently placed fourth in the table and will next face Afghanistan on Saturday, June 22. The Delhi Capitals batsman might get a call up in that match considering India having a much better chance of winning against the minnows who are yet to win a game in the tournament.