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ICC World Cup 2019, India vs New Zealand warm-up: With Shankar injured, who will bat at No. 4?

India vs New Zealand World Cup warm-up match: Vijay Shankar was hit on the forearm when he tried to pull a Khaleel Ahmed short ball. He immediately walked towards the dressing and appeared to be in a lot of discomfort.

cricket Updated: May 25, 2019 08:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC World Cup 2019,India vs New Zealand warm-up,World Cup 2019 Warm-up matches
India's Vijay Shankar, right, and Ravindra Jadeja check out the bats during a training session at The Oval in London, Friday, May 24, 2019. The Cricket World Cup starts on Thursday May 30.(AP)

Vijay Shankar’s untimely forearm injury poses an uneasy question in front of the Indian team management. Who will bat at No. 4 in their in their first warm-up match of the ICC World Cup 2019 against New Zealand at the Oval on Saturday?

Shankar, tipped as the first-choice batsman for the No.4 spot, which has given a lot of headache to the Indian think tank, suffered a blow on his forearm during the net session on the eve of the India vs New Zealand World Cup warm-up match. Though, there was no official confirmation from BCCI about Shankar’s injury, but it is unlikely that India would risk its key player for a warm-up game. (Squads, Schedule, News: Full coverage of ICC World Cup 2019)

Shankar was hit on the forearm when he tried to pull a Khaleel Ahmed short ball. He immediately walked towards the dressing and appeared to be in a lot of discomfort.

“Shankar was taken for precautionary scans and a call on his participation in Saturday’s warm-up game against New Zealand will be taken after the reports are out. It may come Friday evening (London time) or Saturday morning,” a BCCI source told PTI.

Also Read: Full schedule of ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up matches

In case Shankar doesn’t regain his fitness on time, then KL Rahul in all probability will bat at No. 4 in the warm-up match against New Zealand. Selected originally as the third opener in the Indian side, Rahul has batted at No.4 previously but with little success.

The other option, Kedar Jadhav too is unlikely to take the field on Saturday against New Zealand. Jadhav, who was sidelined from the IPL playoffs due to a shoulder injury, is yet to regain his full fitness. On the two days India trained at the Oval, Jadhav just focused on light drills and throwdowns.

The No.4 problem and injury woes aside, India’s famous top three – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli - would like to begin their World Cup journey on a positive note. The fickle middle order means the experienced top there will have to take more responsibility.

There will be focus on India’s bowling attack too, especially the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both Yadav and Chahal did not have the best of IPLs and they would hope to put all that behind when India face New Zealand on Saturday.

After the two warm-ups, India begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.

Squads

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

Match starts at 3:00pm

First Published: May 25, 2019 08:37 IST