India suffered their first loss of the ICC World Cup 2019 as they went down against host England by 31 runs at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Things turned out to be more pale for the top-ranked ODI side as their star all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been ruled out of the World Cup with a toe injury. Meanwhile, BCCI has requested ICC to replace injured Shankar with Mayank Agarwal.
Mayank to replace injured Shankar
The Karnataka batsman is yet to make his debut in ODIs but has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. He has scored heavily in the last few years, and his exclusion from the ODI squad has raised eyebrows of many cricketing pundits. Mayank Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia and instantly made a mark. His gritty knock in challenging wickets against a top-class bowling unit earned praise from all quarters.
With India’s middle-order struggling to provide stability in the last three matches, Mayank Agarwal’s inclusion might be a welcome opportunity for the management to fix the problem. Mayank has previous experience of playing in English conditions when he toured England with India A side. Besides, Mayank can also open the innings, which will be an additional benefit to the team as this will provide the flexibility to demote KL Rahul in the middle-order where he started the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Vijay Shankar suffered a toe injury before the England game at Edgbaston. While Rishabh Pant replaced him in the match, BCCI later revealed that the all-rounder will no longer be a part of the World Cup. He suffered a non-displaced fracture of the left big toe, which will require a minimum of 3 weeks to heal. Although he failed to score big, Shankar looked good in short innings and played a significant role picking two wickets against Pakistan. Mayank Agarwal will only join the side after ICC’s approval.