World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan’s injury opens the door for other teams, says Harbhajan Singh

first_imgWith Shikhar Dhawan getting ruled out of the playing XI, the Indian team will be forced to open the batting with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the upcoming World Cup 2019 matches.Cricketer Harbhajan Singh feels the injury blow to Shikhar Dhawan provides a great opportunity for other teams to cash in against India in the upcoming matches of the World Cup 2019.India’s opening combination had fired the team to victories in the first two games with Rohit Sharma and Dhawan both hitting hundreds against the Proteas and the defending champions respectively. But with Dhawan getting ruled out for 3 weeks, Harbhajan feels the other teams that are scheduled to face India next have the perfect opportunity to upset India’s momentum in this tournament.India will be facing New Zealand (June 13), Pakistan (June 16), Afghanistan (June 22), West Indies (June 27), England (June 30), Bangladesh (July 2) and Sri Lanka (July 6) in their remaining games.”Shikhar Dhawan’s injury opens the door for other teams as well. When you see Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, they have been opening for many years and have been extremely successful.Now suddenly Shikhar is not there. You have another opener in KL Rahul but he hasn’t opened in the recent past. It’s going to be a challenge,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today on Tuesday.All-rounder Vijay Shankar is also present in the squad and has been warming the benches till now. But Harbhajan is not very confident of Shankar’s abilities with the bat at No.4.”If Vijay Shankar comes in at No. 4, I don’t feel that confident about the move. I am worried about the No. 4 slot. If you lose 2 wickets in the first 10 overs, then you will have Vijay Shankar. It can happen.advertisement”You have seen many teams losing early wickets in the English conditions. That’s where I am worried. Shankar is a newcomer. He hasn’t performed at this level before. Teams would be looking to crack that door against India and enter in,” Harbhajan said.Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out for 3 weeks on Tuesday after scans revealed a fracture on his left thumb. He had suffered the injury during India’s 36-run victory against Australia in the match at The Oval on Sunday. But Dhawan continued to bat through pain and scored a match-winning 117, earning him the player-of-the-match award as well.But now with Dhawan out of the playing XI, the Indian team will be forced to open the batting with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who batted at No.4 in the first two matches against South Africa and Australia.Rahul has showed good form at the crucial No.4 position and hit a hundred in the warm-up game against Bangladesh last month. He chipped in with 26 and 11 not out against South Africa and Australia respectively.The Indian team management has now been forced to look at Rishabh Pant as the likely replacement for Dhawan in the squad while Shreyas Iyer’s name is also doing the rounds, according to sources. Pant is the frontrunner as he is in the standbys list. But only time will tell if he comes in the squad and gets slotted in at No.4 straightaway or not.”It’s a good opportunity for Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to be part of the squad. If anything goes wrong with Shikhar Dhawan for more than 3 weeks, then I would want to pick Pant.”It could be 3 weeks depending on how bad the injury is. They are actually assuming. In the end, it will come down to how Shikhar Dhawan will feel batting with the injured finger. Even if the injury heals, it will depend on him to get fully fit,” Harbhajan Singh said.Also Read | Injured Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of World Cup 2019 for 3 weeksAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Rishabh Pant or Shreyas Iyer likely to replace injured Shikhar DhawanAlso Read | Pant ideal replacement for injured Dhawan, Rahane not a bad option too: HarbhajanAlso Watch:last_img