In what comes as a body blow to Team India, opener Shikhar Dhawan has been officially ruled out of the 2019 World Cup after the southpaw suffered a hairline fracture during his knock of 123 against Australia at The Oval, it was confirmed today. The incumbent opener remained with the Indian side as part of the management's decision while being under the observation of the BCCI medical team.
Rishabh Pant was called-in as a cover for the injured Dhawan but with his hand likely to be in a cast till the mid of July, the selectors and the team management had no option but to the request for the official replacement for the 33-year-old.
"Following several specialist opinions, he'll be in a cast till mid-July and is ruled out of the World Cup. Dhawan's fracture is at the base of the first metacarpal on his left hand. We've requested for Rishabh Pant as a replacement."Sunil Subramaniam, India's team manager, said in a press conference.
In the end, you've got to feel for Dhawan. The 33-year-old played a major part in India's ODI success in the past six years [2013 Champions Trophy], and to leave the side at this stage of the tournament due to injury, one can only imagine what the southpaw must be feeling right now.
And, as far as Team India is concerned, the stats below will put into context the magnitude of Dhawan's loss to the side-
Highest run-getter for Team India in last 5 ODI tournaments-
CT 2013- Dhawan
Asia Cup 2014- Dhawan
CWC 2015- Dhawan
CT 2017- Dhawan
Asia Cup 2019- Dhawan
But as they say, someone's disappointment is another person's opportunity, and this is a massive opportunity for the likes of Pant [if he does get a game] to prove his talent at the biggest stage possible- World Cup.