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ICC World Cup 2019: Kapil Dev surprises with his choice for Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement in India squad

Kapil Dev surprised with his choice of replacement for injured Shikhar Dhawan, who is certain to miss India’s next World Cup matches against New Zealand and Pakistan

cricket Updated: Jun 12, 2019 15:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC World Cup 2019,Shikhar Dhawan injury,Shikhar Dhawan injury update
New Delhi, India - June 5, 2019: Former cricketer Kapil Dev on the occasion of World Environment Day, at Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jorbagh, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (Photo by Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

Shikhar Dhawan’s suspected hairline fracture has sent ripples through the Indian team management. Though BCCI has refrained from naming an official replacement for Dhawan, opting to play the wait and watch game, former cricketers have come out in numbers with their preferred choices. Former India World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev was the latest to join the list after Sunil Gavaskar and Gautam Gambhir.

Kapil batted for Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in the Indian side as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan, who is certain to miss India’s next two World Cup matches against New Zealand and Pakistan with a suspected hairline fracture on his left thumb. (Full Coverage of ICC World Cup 2019)

“If Rahane’s name is being considered then he should be the first-choice. He should be picked ahead of Pant and Rayudu. Rahane has experience of playing in big tournaments like the World Cup. He can open the batting and also play in the middle order,” Kapil told ABP News.

Kapil’s comments came before India’s decision to ask Rishabh Pant to fly to England as a cover for Dhawan. The team management, however, will only name Pant as an official replacement after observing the latter’s progress. So far, no official request from the BCCI has been made to ICC for Dhawan’s replacement.

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Rahane, on the other hand, is playing County Cricket for Hampshire and had also struck a century on his debut.

The India Test vice-captain last played an ODI 16 months ago in South Africa and since then have not been considered for selection in the fifty over format mainly because of his low strike rate.

Dhawan was struck by a Pat Cummins rising delivery during India’s last World Cup match against Australia, which they won comfortably by 36 runs. The opener scored a hundred in the match, playing through pain with a swollen thumb. He, however, did not come out to field in the second innings and was seen sitting in the dressing room with ice packs on his left thumb.

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen batted for Rishabh Pant’s inclusion but Gautam Gambhir said (read the full story here) it is Ambati Rayudu who deserves to be called in if Shikhar Dhawan is ruled out of the India’s World Cup campaign.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 11:27 IST