Fans’ prayers seem to have worked as swashbuckling youngster Rishabh Pant has left for England after Shikhar Dhawan’s thumb injury ruled him out for three weeks from the ongoing World Cup. The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, however, is not a replacement for his Delhi Capitals teammate and will be going only as a cover or standby.
As per information available, Pant has left for England and will join the team in London later on Wednesday.
Dhawan sustained an injury when a rising delivery from Nathan Coulter-Nile had struck him on his thumb in India’s second World Cup match against Australia on Sunday.
The southpaw was seen grappling with intense pain and had not fielded when his team came out to defend the target of 353. The opener was the Man of the Match for his blistering 117.
It was informed on Tuesday that Dhawan has been ruled out for three weeks. Later in the day, the BCCI announced that the southpaw will continue to be a part of the team and his recovery progress will be monitored.
As soon as the news had surfaced, netizens wasted no time in demanding that Pant be sent as the replacement for Dhawan.
Pant, Ambati Rayudu and Navdeep Saini were the standbys announced two days after the 15-member squad was announced on April 15.
Pant’s omission in favour of the experienced Dinesh Karthik was a controversial decision many fans were unhappy about. Some like Michael Vaughan had called India ‘bonkers’ while Sunil Gavaskar had said he was ‘surprised.’
The left-hander's fine show in the IPL afterwards was another reason why he was the first choice for netizens as soon as Dhawan’s injury news broke out.