The Indian team management prefers to wait on opener Shikhar Dhawan’s injury than rule him out of the World Cup.
By the time India plays its match against Afghanistan on June 22, it will be clear whether Dhawan is fit to play the remaining matches in the World Cup or not, assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said ahead of the match against New Zealand.
Dhawan would miss the matches against New Zealand, Pakistan.
“As far as Shikhar is concerned, we'll be observing him, and around the 10th or 12th day, we'll get to know where he stands, and we'll be in a better position to take a call. We don't want to rule out a precious player like Shikhar.”
Dhawan will definitely be missed in next games given that he is the only southpaw in the team. “It's always an advantage if you have a left-right combination right at the top of the order. So Shikhar will definitely be missed in the next three to four games, but we have a great backup for each position. So with that, we should be able to make it up.”
As expected, Bangar confirmed that KL Rahul who had originally been drafted as the third opener but has successfully played at the number four position in the first two WC matches will fill in for the injured Dhawan.
“As far as the batting order goes, yes, KL moves up at the top of the order, and there are various options the team management can utilize going into the next game. Obviously, Vijay Shankar is going to be an option, and there are a couple of others as well.”
Rishab Pant has been announced as a cover for Dhawan. He is expected to join the team ahead of India’s next match against Pakistan in Manchester.
Bangar dismissed concerns regarding lack of practice due to rains.
While NZ had indoor nets on Tuesday and Wednesday, Team India cancelled its practice due to rain at the Trent Bridge on Tuesday and Wednesday. As drizzle stopped briefly, an optional practice took place outdoors.
“We've had a fair time to prepare ourselves because we spent a lot of time before our first match, and that was an advantage. What's fortunate so far is everybody's got to bat and bowl. And it isn't necessary that you come to the nets every day. At times, if you miss practice because of weather or something, that's still fine.”
Bangar said the bowlers, too, were in a good rhythm and the team did not want to risk them in these slippery conditions in practice.