The twist and turn surrounding Rishabh Pant in the wake of injury to Shikhar Dhawan continues to become more confusing. According to latest reports now, the youngster is on his way to England to join the World Cup squad as cover for the injured opener.
Dhawan suffered a thumb injury during the 36-run win over Australia. He was hit on his left thumb by a delivery from Nathan Coulter-Nile early in his innings and needed medical attention. Dhawan was clearly struggling after receiving the blow but had gone on to score a sublime ton. He was eventually out after scoring 117 off 109 balls. He, however, had not come out to field at all with Ravindra Jadeja taking his place in the field.
Dhawan looks set to be sidelined for more than two weeks but the Indian team-management has decided against sending him. They, however, have called in Rishabh Pant as cover. According to The Times of India, Pant has already been told that he needs to get ready to leave for England at the earliest. The wicketkeeper-batsman is likely to join the team in Nottingham on the eve of India’s match against New Zealand.
However, Pant will not be part of the 15, as long as Dhawan is not ruled out. ICC rules allow an injured player to be replaced, but they cannot later rejoin the squad if they regain full fitness.
“Rishabh is just being called here in advance as standby so that he can acclimatise. If Dhawan can’t continue, we’ll seek an official go ahead from ICC for replacement and he (Rishabh) can immediately join the team,” sources told the news outlet.
Rishabh Pant is all geared up to leave for England. The report claimed that from apparels to his official luggage, everything has been handed over to Pant at his residence in Delhi. As far as Dhawan is concerned, the team-management has thrown its support behind him, giving him all the time in the world to recover.
“The scans have confirmed a hairline fracture. Doctors have given a tentative healing period. But the healing process is individual-specific and you can’t tell overnight if he’s going to be fine in 10 days or 15 days or more. But what you can certainly do is wait for a week and take a more assertive call,” sources said.
With Dhawan out, KL Rahul looks set to open the innings along with Rohit Sharma. As far as the number four is concerned, one among Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar is likely to take that place.
Rishabh Pant, meanwhile, had a stunning IPL where he scored 401 runs in 14 games and helped Delhi Capitals make it to the playoffs.