How Will Key Indian Player Injuries Hurt Their ICC World Cup Chances?
Team India have lost two key players at World Cup 2019 due to injuries. We will therefore assess just how far these Indian injuries will impact the team’s chances of winning the World Cup, as well as their implication for cricket bettors and fans alike.
Some World Cup Injuries Expected
The top teams in World Cricket have the best medical staff on board to provide players with world class care, and ensure that they are always at the fittest and ready to perform. However, when you play a tournament like the World Cup, which is nearly and month and a half long, players will have to cope with a few niggles that crop up every now and then. More often than not, these little flare ups occur towards the middle or the end of the tournament.
Indian Injuries – India Lose Two Key Players
Team India lost opening batsman S Dhawan after just two games when he suffered a hairline fracture to his finger. A Patrick Cummins delivery was responsible for Dhawan’s injury. The injury all but ruled out S Dhawan for the rest of the tournament. Nevertheless, Dhawan continues to remain with the Indian team in the hope of making a comeback towards the end of the tournament.
Dhawan’s loss was a big blow for Team India. After all, he had just scored a magnificent century against the Australians and looked like he had finally found his form. India’s game against New Zealand was then abandoned due to bad weather. In their next game against Pakistan, India subsequently lost opening bowler B Kumar.
Kumar was in his third over when he grabbed his hamstring and left the field mid-over. Replays showed that he had landed awkwardly in his delivery stride and had tweaked his hamstring. The medical staff confirmed that he had not torn his hamstring. Still, Kumar is expected to miss the next 2 to 3 games based on captain Virat Kohli’s comments.
India beat Pakistan comprehensively and the bookies have now ranked them in second place (2.85) behind England to win the World Cup. The Indian injuries to S Dhawan and B Kumar have not influenced the bookies, though, who continue to favour India’s chances of winning their third World Cup.
Will The Replacements Perform?
India decided to move KL Rahul up the order, and he played cautiously to score a half century against Pakistan. The number 4 position was given to V Shankar. He did not bat at number 4, however, because Kohli decided to shuffle the batting order. We will have to wait untill June 22 when India play Afghanistan who have odds of 1000-1 at Bet365 to see if Shankar gets a chance to shine with the bat.
M Shami is expected to take the place of B Kumar until he regains his fitness. There were many who expected Shami to partner J Bumrah at the start of the tournament. Especially given that he had played well in the warm up matches. Shami will now get his chance to perform on the big stage. He will also want to do his best to make it hard for B Kumar to regain his spot.
Shami is a great bowler and can fill in for B Kumar with the ball. Nonetheless, Shami weakens the batting lineup as B Kumar can bat.
Will India Test Bench Strength Against Afghanistan?
Head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Kohli should think about testing their bench strength against Afghanistan. This would ensure that all of their reserve players have some match time, in case they lose any of their main players to injury in the course of the tournament. R Pant has been flown in and India should think of giving him a game, along with D Karthik.
That would mean India would have to leave out a couple of players in the game against Afghanistan. It is a tough decision for team India as they would not want to break up the momentum they have going. But, it is also important for them to plan ahead in case more Indian injuries crop up.