India opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup after he suffered a hairline fracture on his thumb while playing against Australia in India's second match of the tournament.
The decision confirms the worst fears of the Indian team management, who had kept the decision to call up a replacement for the left-handed opener on stand-by as they felt that Dhawan would recover in time for the business end of the World Cup.
Rishabh Pant, who had agonizingly fallen short of the 15 man squad has been now called up as a replacement for Dhawan and will be in the reckoning for the remaining games.
Dhawan has been a vital part of the Indian batting line-up along with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and will be a huge miss going forward, but this could open up a spot for K.L. Rahul at the top.
The Karnataka batsman who had to slot in at no 4 initially and opened in the game against Pakistan can play with the freedom of his former self and without any baggage, that would have otherwise been felt with Dhawan waiting in the wings....