Virat Kohli-led team India have made a strong start to their campaign in World Cup 2019 by beating South Africa and Australia in the first two games. Their third match against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Thursday was abandoned because of heavy rain and that leaves Virat Kohli’s men with five points from three games. The Men in Blue now play arch-rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday in what is likely to be an explosive affair.
India have never lost a match against Pakistan in World Cup although their last encounter with Pakistan in England in the final of the Champions Trophy had gone horribly wrong. Virat Kohli‘s plans have also been hit due to ace opener Shikhar Dhawan’s thumb injury. The southpaw fractured his thumb after being hit by a Pat Cummins bouncer in the match against Australia at the Oval last Sunday and has been ruled out for a few weeks.
Dhawan went on to score a match-winning century in that contest and his exit has left the team management under a fresh challenge. On Thursday, Kohli confirmed Dhawan’s fitness status saying that his thumb will be in plaster for a couple of weeks and he is set to miss the next few league matches. The 33-year-old was one ton short of equaling the record of seven hundreds scored by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in ICC tournaments when disaster struck.
He’ll be available for the later half
India have called up Rishabh Pant as Dhawan’s cover even though the latter has also been kept with the side and his recovery being monitored.
“Shikhar will be in a plaster for a couple of weeks, we’ll assess and see. Hopefully he’ll be available for the later half and the semi-finals. He’s motivated, we wanted to keep him back,” Kohli said after the game against the Black Caps was washed out at Trent Bridge.
The wash-out leaves both teams with a point each. Four of the last seven matches in the World Cup have been washed out which makes it an edition with the maximum incomplete games. India are now ranked third in the points table while New Zealand sit at the top with seven points from four matches. Both these teams are unbeaten so far.