Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan Image Credit: AP

Nottingham: Opener Shikhar Dhawan will remain with Team India for the World Cup in England and Wales despite incurring a thumb injury during the match against Australia at Oval on Sunday. Dhawan sustained the injury when he was hit by a rising delivery from Australian pacer Pat Cummins and was taken to Leeds to undergo a scan.

Dhawan is understood to have fractured his thumb but the India team management said in a statement: “He has sustained an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb.”

Although there were media reports that he may be replaced by Shreyas Iyer or Rishabh Pant and that Dhawan was ruled out for three weeks, the statement from the India team cryptically states: “Dhawan will be under observation.”

However, what is sure is that Dhawan will miss India’s next match against New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday, but whether he will be out of action for three weeks as stated by a section of the media is still unclear.

The in-form opener, who cracked a century in the match against Australia, could likely also miss the matches against Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Indies and England. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn’t officially mentioned the timescale required for him to recover.

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It is speculated he could recover in two weeks, but for the next match against New Zealand, KL Rahul will open the innings with Rohit Sharma. This shift will open up the middle order, and India may have to include either Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik in the next match to bolster the batting strength.

Dhawan has always performed well in ICC tournaments with six centuries. In the 2015 World Cup, he scored two hundreds.