World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan fractures thumb, Rishabh Pant ready for London flight

Rishabh Pant called in to fill for Shikhar Dhawan in World Cup 2019 (Source: AP)

Rishabh Pant is set to join India’s World Cup 2019 squad in England to fill in for an injured Shikhar Dhawan. Pant was one of the batsmen in reserves and was likely to be called up in event of an injury. Former players Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen backed the 21-year-old to replace Dhawan given his recent form in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.

Before the 15-man squad selection for the ongoing World Cup, Pant was one of the frontrunners to get his maiden mega event call-up. But, the selectors banked on Dinesh Karthik’s experience and Vijay Shankar’s ability to deliver with both bat and ball.

Pant had a good run in IPL 2019 scoring 488 runs in 16 matches playing a crucial role in Delhi Capitals’ (DC) reaching the qualifiers. The wicketkeeper-batsman was backed by legend Ricky Ponting who worked with him closely as DC’s coach.

Dhawan was injured by a bouncer during India’s clash against Australia on Thursday. The 33-year-old batted through the pain and scored his 17th ODI century to help India post a total of 352/5.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Dhawan had fractured his thumb and will not be playing against New Zealand on Thursday.

Along with Pant, Ambati Rayudu was in reserves for World Cup 2019. The 33-year-old has a batting average of 47.05 in ODIs but he missed out on the opportunity given Pant’s record-breaking performances as wicketkeeper-batsman on English pitches in 2018 during the Test series.