World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan to play against West Indies?

After facing a major jolt in the World Cup campaign with the injury of Shikhar Dhawan, there is still some hope left for the Indian team as the opening batsman may play against West Indies. A final decision on Dhawan’s availability at the ongoing World Cup will be taken only after 10 to 12 days as he is too “precious” to be ruled out just yet, India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said Wednesday.

Dhawan will miss three to four games due to the hairline fracture on his left thumb and Rishabh Pant will join the team as cover in Manchester ahead of the clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.

“As far as Shikhar is concerned, we are observing him and it will take some time, around 10 or 12 days to figure out where he stands,” Bangar said on the eve of the game against New Zealand.

“We will be in a better position to take a call then because we don’t want to rule out a precious player like Shikhar, straight at the time of the injury,” he added.

Bangar also informed that Pant is being summoned so that he can train with the team and be match-ready in case Dhawan is ruled out of the tournament.

“Since Dhawan’s assessment will take 10-12 days, till that point of time, we wanted to make sure if and when the replacement is required and I am saying if and when, then it is always good to have a replacement player coming in and practising with the team as a stand-by,” Bangar said.

Meanwhile, Dhawan on Wednesday hinted that it is not yet over for him, posting a motivational poem about being determined on his social media page. Delhi’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been called in as his cover.

The 33-year-old quoted legendary Urdu poet Rahat Indori on his Twitter page to show his intentions.

Dhawan picked up the injury during the match-winning hundred against Australia on Sunday.

(With Agency inputs)