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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Vijay Shankar ruled out of ICC World Cup 2019, Mayank Agarwal named replacement

Mayank Agarwal, 28, who made his Test debut against Australia last year, has not yet played in the ODI format but is likely to replace Vijay Shankar in India’s World Cup squad

cricket Updated: Jul 01, 2019 17:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Vijay Shankar of India appeals successfully for the wicket of Imam ul Haq of Pakistan during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford.
Vijay Shankar of India appeals successfully for the wicket of Imam ul Haq of Pakistan during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford.(Getty Images)

Vijay Shankar’s ICC World Cup campaign has come to a disappointing end as the all-rounder has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to a toe injury sustained during practice. He is likely to be replaced by opening batsman Mayank Agarwal.The Karnataka opener made a great start to his international career, playing a stellar role in India’s Test series win in Australia at the start of the year. Interesting thing is that Agarwal was not first choice for that tour, just like the World Cup, and was brought into the squad after an injury to Prithvi Shaw. Agarwal is yet to make his ODI debut for India. Vijay Shankar has had a below par showing in the tournament so far, failing to make his mark at the number 4 position. Shankar made a bright start to the tournament, scoring an unbeaten 15 against Pakistan and also picked up a wicket with his first ball. But it has been downhill since, as he contributed 29 and 14 against Afghanistan and West Indies respectively.

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“Vijay got hit on the toe by a Jasprit Bumrah delivery once again. His situation is not great and he won’t be able to take part in the tournament. He is going back home,” a a senior BCCI official told PTI.

Shankar was left out of India’s last game against England due to the same toe injury. Rishabh Pant was handed his World Cup debut, who batted at No. 4 and scored 32 runs on Sunday.

Vijay Shankar’s inclusion in the World Cup squad sparked a controversy as middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu, considered a firm favourite for the number 4 slot, expressed his frustration on being overlooked in public. This prompted chief selector MSK Prasad to come out in defence of the decision to include Shankar.

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“The Indian team management is likely to ask for Mayank Agarwal as replacement since he is an opener and also it might give KL Rahul a chance to get back to the No.4 position in case Rishabh Pant fails in the next two games,” the source added.

Rohit Sharma had talked about Shankar’s injury on Sunday but it was presumed to be an old hit that he took at Southampton. It now seems that Shankar’s toe injury has aggravated after playing against Afghanistan and West Indies.

“There is no uncertainty with regard to the number four position. Vijay Shankar was supposed to play but before the game he got hit on the toe by Jasprit (Bumrah) and he wasn’t fit. Every team will have these one or two changes happening every now and then,” he said after India lost to England.

It is expected that Agarwal’s name will be approved by the ICC’s tournament technical committee and the player will arrive in Birmingham and travel to Leeds subsequently.

India lost their previous match to England by 31 runs here on Sunday and will take on Bangladesh at the same venue on Tuesday.

(with PTI inputs)

First Published: Jul 01, 2019 13:47 IST

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