Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has suggested that Rishabh Pant should be included as a replacement of Shikhar Dhawan in the India squad at ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Tweeting about the same, Pietersen wrote: “Shikha OUT the World Cup. Get Pant on the plane ASAP. KL Rahul to open and Pant at number 4…”
Shikha OUT the World Cup.
Get Pant on the plane ASAP.
KL Rahul to open and Pant at number 4…
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) June 11, 2019
Dhawan sustained a thumb injury during India’s 36-run win over Australia on Sunday. He received a blow on the thumb as early as the 9th over but he continued to hit a match-winning 117 for India. However, on Tuesday, it was revealed that Shikhar had a fracture to his thumb because of which he is expected to miss the action for up to 3 weeks.
However, the BCCI may decide not to name a replacement if Dhawan can recover in time towards the business end of the tournament but the BCCI is unlikely to take the risk.
Some of the reports have suggested that either Rishabh Pant or Shreyas Iyer are likely replacements for Shikhar Dhawan. Speaking to India Today earlier on Tuesday, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said, “He [Rahane] is a very good option to be considered. He has been playing cricket here. He is one of the middle order batsmen to rely on. He has got the technique to bat at No.3, No.4. He was one of India’s best batsmen at the 2015 World Cup.”
He further added, “It would be a bad call to ask him to join the team from here itself. I would still like to see the injury as to how long Shikhar Dhawan is gone. You can straightaway have him in the squad after it heals. You want to be fully fit. Shikhar Dhawan himself won’t take a chance. A fracture ideally takes more than 3 weeks. At the moment, if I have to pick one replacement player, it would be Rishabh Pant or if you want to go for the experience, then it would be Ajinkya Rahane.”