Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Dhawan really wants to play - Kohli

ESPNCricInfo
14 Jun 2019, 16:42 GMT+10

8:57 PM ET

Shikhar Dhawan's fractured left hand will be assessed after 10-12 days and India captain Virat Kohli hopes the batsman's positive mindset will help his recovery.

Dhawan was injured in the match against Australia played on June 9, during which he scored a century, and therefore the earliest he will go through an examination of how much his fractured hand has mended can only be made after approximately June 21.

"Dhawan is going to be in a plaster for a couple of weeks. After that we will assess where he stands," Kohli said. "Hopefully, the injury heals quickly and he will be available for the latter half of our league games and semi-finals for sure.

"From that point of view, we want to hold him back, keep him here because he wants to play. I think that kind of mindset will help in healing the injury as well as he really wants to play."

However, it will not be his ability to bat alone that will be under question. India fielding coach R Sridhar said that the assessment will have to include the load that his hand will be put under once it has mended sufficiently to undergo heavier examination.

Sridhar said that "throwing won't be a problem as it is not his dominant hand" - Dhawan is a natural right hander who bats left handed. What will need to be studied carefully is "the impact while fielding and catching, specially is he is a slip fielder".

Following the washout against New Zealand it is possible Dhawan will miss on not one but India's next two matches, against Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sridhar said that as far as his department goes, Dhawan would be tested out after 10-odd days, "with lighter balls first and gradually move on to the cricket ball and see how it goes from there, but yes that will be a challenge".

Rishabh Pant has been called into the squad as cover but will not officially be added unless Dhawan fails to recover. Once a player is ruled out of the tournament through injury he can't be brought back unless another player is injured and the ICC technical committee is satisfied with the replacement. In the short-term India will use KL Rahul in the opening position.

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