Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was Wednesday brought in as cover for the injured Shikhar Dhawan in India’s World Cup squad.
Pant, whose omission from the original squad became a topic of heated debates given his stupendous form in the past one year, will reach here Wednesday.
His arrival will be a day before India’s game against New Zealand and he won’t be considered a replacement till the time the team management takes a final call on Dhawan’s availability for the rest of the tournament.
“Rishabh Pant is being flown in from India as cover at the request of the team management,” a senior BCCI official currently in England told PTI.
The 21-year-old is one of the most exciting players to have emerged in Indian cricket. He impressed with Test hundreds during the tours of England and Australia earlier and was in fine form during the IPL last month.
Several former players such as Sunil Gavaskar advocated for his inclusion in the squad if Dhawan fails to recover quickly enough for India. Dhawan has been ruled out of three matches due to a hairline fracture on his left thumb 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 Wednesday night.
“Dhawan sustained an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb…,” it added.