Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will be joining the Men in Blue as a cover for the injured Shikhar Dhawan in India’s World Cup squad.
Pant, whose omission from the original 15-man squad became a hot topic of discussion given his stupendous form in the past one year, will reach England soon.
“Rishabh Pant is being flown in from India as a cover (for Shikhar Dhawan) at the request of the team management,” a senior BCCI official currently in England told PTI on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Pant is one of the most promising players to have emerged in Indian cricket. He impressed all with centuries in Test matches during the tours of England and Australia earlier and was in supreme form during the recently-concluded 12th season of the IPL.
Dhawan has been ruled out of three weeks due to a thumb fracture which he sustained during his match-winning hundred in the clash against Australia on Sunday.
“Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team. The team management has decided that Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored,” the Indian team said in a statement on Tuesday night.
“Dhawan sustained an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb,” it added.
Pant is not Dhawan’s replacement as of now
Pant is expected to join the India team ahead of the game against New Zealand at the Trent Bridge on Thursday and will train as well. Having said that, the youngster will not be available for selection until Dhawan gets ruled out of the tournament.
BCCI is still hopeful of Dhawan recovering in a few days time. Also, according to the ICC rules, once an injured player is ruled out of the competition and a replacement is named for him, the former cannot come back even if he is fit later. This is the reason the team management wants to play it safe and keep Dhawan under observation.