NOTTINGHAM: If rain is what is keeping India fans worried ahead of the June 13 game against New Zealand, the Indian team is fretting over something else. It is not certain whether Shikhar Dhawan will play that match.
The opener suffered a knock on the finger in the match against Australia and going by the latest announcement, the team is keeping fingers crossed over his availability in the next few games.
Speculation was rife on Tuesday morning that Dhawan had been ruled out and different names started doing the rounds as his replacement.
Later in the day, the team management sent an update, which read Dhawan is under the observation of the BCCI medical team.
“He will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored,” said the statement.
Forced to cancel a scheduled practice session in the afternoon, the Indian team was at the hotel, where meetings were held to take a decision on Dhawan.
Struck by Pat Cummins before going on to make a match-winning century, the player from Delhi did not field in that match. It is learnt that the team management is willing to wait for a few days for him to recover, even if it means he has to miss a couple of games.
KL Rahul will open in that case, opening the door for Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar in the middle-order. In the meantime, Dhawan’s progress will be assessed at the nets.
The nature or extent of Dhawan’s injury is not clear. Neither is it known if he has suffered a crack.
“He suffered an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb,” said the statement from the Indian team without elaborating. It was heard that he would be taken to London to see a specialist, although this could not be confirmed.
Before this update, there was a lot of speculation. The names of Rishabh Pant, Ambati Rayudu even Shreyas Iyer were heard as possible replacements, but sources told this newspaper that no such step has been taken.
“There is no decision on any replacement. That will be done only if Dhawan is ruled out. Whether he is going to be out will be known tomorrow.”
Rain in the air
The mood was gloomy in Nottingham, with dark clouds and a steady drizzle forcing the New Zealand team to train indoors. There is a forecast of rain for the next few days.
Till Tuesday, three matches of this World Cup saw the teams share points due to the weather. By the looks of it, more seems to be in store.