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Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of ICC World Cup: How will it impact Team India?

Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a century against the Aussies despite the knock on his thumb, is a crucial cog in the team’s wheel and has been an outstanding contributor in ICC events in the past.

cricket Updated: Jun 20, 2019 08:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Shikhar Dhawan,ICC World Cup,Dhawan ruled out
India's Shikhar Dhawan holds a soccer ball during a training session.(AP)

The news that Team India fans have been dreading for a while finally became a reality on Wednesday as opener Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the ICC World Cup due to the thumb injury sustained during the mach against Australia.

Dhawan, who scored a century against the Aussies despite the knock on his thumb, is a crucial cog in the team’s wheel and has been an outstanding contributor in ICC events in the past. While KL Rahul has showcased that he is an able replacement in the opener’s slot, Dhawan’s absence could be a big blow for the Indian team as they move towards the business end of the high profile tournament. Here are reasons why Team India should be worried.

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1) India’s top performer in ICC events

Since cementing his place in the Indian ODI team after a superlative performance in the 2013 Champions Trophy, Dhawan has been one half of an indomitable opening partnership with Rohit Sharma, which has helped India win several key matches. Dhawan’s form in ICC 50 over tournaments has been one of India’s strongest suits, with the southpaw finishing as the highest run-getter for the team in the 2013 & 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2015 ICC World Cup.

2013 Champions Trophy

Matches: 5, Runs: 363, Average: 90.75

2015 World Cup

Matches: 8, Runs: 412, Average: 51.50

2017 Champions Trophy

Matches: 5, Runs: 338, Average: 67.60

2) No left hander in Indian top and middle order

Dhawan’s absence is a big blow to the diversity of the Indian batting order. Dhawan was the only left-hander in India top or middle order and his injury means India are now predominantly right-handed batting team. This makes it a lot easier for opposition bowlers to plan against the Indian batting line-up.

3) Pressure on Rohit Sharma

Dhawan’s ability to take on opposition bowlers allowed Rohit Sharma the time he needs at the start of the innings to get his eye in. One of the biggest reasons of the success of the Dhawan-Rohit partnership is that the duo compliment each other’s game really well.

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With Dhawan pressing on the accelerator early in the innings, Rohit got the time he needs to settle in before kicking on the gas himself. But with no Dhawan around, Rohit will have to take the extra risk early in his innings which could cost the Indian team in a crucial match.

4) Famed Top 3 disrupted

India’s top which includes captain Virat Kohli along with Dhawan and Rohit is the most feared batting syndicate in the world. The three batsmen together have contributed more than 5- percent of India’s total share of runs in ODIs since the 2015 ICC World Cup and that is a huge statement in itself.

With Dhawan gone at a crucial time in the campaign for India, both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will have more burden on their shoulders.

First Published: Jun 19, 2019 19:21 IST