ICC World Cup 2019-winning India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said India will find it a little difficult to get the batting combination right in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan at the Cricket World Cup 2019.
Dhawan’s injury is a massive blow to India who have won both their matches so far in the tournament and are firm favourites to reach the semifinals.
Shikhar Dhawan had sustained the injury during India’s 36-run victory over defending world champions Australia at The Oval. Despite the injury, Dhawan went on to score a stylish 117 as India posted a record 352 for 5 off their 50 overs.
It is not yet clear whether the Indian team will name a replacement for Dhawan but chances are either Shreyas Iyer or Rishabh Pant could be called up to replace Shikhar Dhawan who has 6 hundreds in ICC tournaments.
Harbhajan added: “It’s going to be a challenge. This is a big blow. I would have loved to see Shikhar playing all the games. He is a big-match player. 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.
“Well, it could be 3 weeks depending on how bad the injury is. 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. If Vijay Shankar comes in at No. 4, I don’t feel that confident about the move,” Harbhajan added
Shikhar Dhawan is currently with physio Patrick Farhat as Team India wants the opener to be fit before the business end of the tournament. A final call on his availability is likely to be taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday.