Dhawan Absence To Impact Balance Of Indian Batting Line-Up

By Dhanu Delphi on June 13, 2019

The tried and tested opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan was one of the keys for India winning the 2019 World Cup. The men in blue have World Cup odds of 3/1 to win the tournament. Now that S Dhawan has been ruled out of the World Cup, that could all change.

Maybe you are one of those cricket bettors who put down cash on India at the start of the ICC World Cup or have intentions to place money on India. In which case, do read on as the absence of Dhawan will significantly impact the balance of the Indian batting lineup.

S Dhawan Suffers Hairline Fracture

S Dhawan’s form was sketchy before India played their second game against Australia. Nevertheless, India backed the dynamic left hander and it paid off against Australia. Ultimately, Dhawan scored a brilliant century that earned him the Man of the Match award and helped India win.

During the match, though, a delivery from Pat Cummins hit S Dhawan on his left hand. He did not take the field and was seen icing his hand during the match. Dhawan was then taken to Leeds for scans. Subsequent reports showed that he had suffered a hairline fracture to his left thumb. The diagnosis means that Dhawan is certain to miss the next few games. However, unconfirmed reports suggest that he will most likely be out of the World Cup.

Sports books are yet to make any changes to India’s odds of winning the World Cup, as India is yet to confirm how they are going to work around the absence of S Dhawan. Who will replace Dhawan remains unknown, although rumours suggest it could be R Pant. Meanwhile, Dhawan will continue to remain with the Indian team. Needless to say, his recovery will be monitored closely.

Who Will Open With R Sharma?

India’s next game is against New Zealand on 13 June. The obvious question that everyone wants to know is who will open with R Sharma. After all, time is currently too short for R Pant to turn up and play immediately. Therefore, India will have to replace Dhawan with someone in the current squad of 15.

KL Rahul is a genuine opener and seems the obvious choice to replace Dhawan against the Kiwis. However, head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli may not want to move Rahul up the order. That’s because he has finally found form at the number four position, which has been India’s biggest concern in the lead up to the World Cup.

If they push Rahul to open, then they have to call on V Shankar to fill in or the experienced D Karthik. If they don’t want to move Rahul up, then they have to get D Karthik to partner R Sharma at the top.

When R Pant arrives in England, India have the option of playing him as an opener. That could be very exciting, if he is in form. Alternatively, it could be a complete disaster if he struggles against the new ball.

India has to make important decisions in the next few days concerning who takes S Dhawan’s place at the top of the order. This key decision will determine whether India continue their winning ways at the World Cup or end up on the losing side. Should they lose against the Kiwis, their odds of winning the World Cup will change.

How Will It Impact R Sharma?

Everyone is currently focusing on S Dhawan and what his absence might mean. However, it is important to consider the impact all this will have on R Sharma. The two have developed a great opening partnership as they know each other’s game very well. Sharma will therefore have to adjust his role based on who India decides will open with him!