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World Cup 2019: Kevin Pietersen Picks Shikhar Dhawan’s Replacement

The Men in Blue recorded their second win in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 edition, beating defending champions Australia by 36 runs at The Kennington Oval on Sunday. The hero of India’s win was Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 117, his 3rd century in World Cups and 17th overall and with worthy contributions from Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and MS Dhoni, helped India put on 352 runs on the board.

The total proved to be enough to hold the Australian batting at bay, as Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar’s three-wicket hauls each helped India pull off an impressive win over the defending champions. However, the victory came at a cost, as Shikhar Dhawan was diagnosed with a fracture in his left thumb, as he was hit on it earlier in the game, but continued batting after receiving medical assistance. But scans after the Indian innings confirmed fracture, ruling Dhawan out of the tournament and India might need to call in a replacement.

Kevin Pietersen wants Rishabh Pant to board the flight to England immediately

Shikhar Dhawan’s injury has opened up a spot in the Indian team who have the luxury to call upon a player from their reserves like Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, and others. While Rayudu lost a close race to Vijay Shankar for that no.4 spot in the batting lineup, Dinesh Karthik’s experience and better keeping skills got him a place ahead of Pant, whose penchant for throwing his wicket away cost him a spot as Dhoni’s backup.

Now with the spot open in the playing XI, former England captain Kevin Pietersen, who was a big supporter of Rishabh Pant, has clamored for the wicketkeeper-batsman to be added to the Indian squad and slotted in at the no.4 spot with KL Rahul moving up to open the innings. Pietersen tweeted, “Shikha OUT the World Cup. Get Pant on the plane ASAP. KL Rahul to open and Pant at number 4…”

India has the option to bring in either of Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar into the playing XI against New Zealand, whom they face on Thursday, June 13 in Nottingham. The Indian team has won both its games against South Africa and Australia; while New Zealand has won all three of their matches so far.