World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan injury will not affect Team India’s morale, says Sunil Gavaskar

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Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar has said Shikhar Dhawan’s injury which could force him to sit out 2 or more India matches will not hurt the team’s morale. Gavaskar added that he believes Virat Kohli’s men are prepared for all eventualities at ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Sunil Gavaskar said it will be “fantastic” to see Shikhar Dhawan back in the squad towards the business end of the tournament if he manages to recover from the thumb injury he sustained during India’s win over Australia in London on Sunday.

“I don’t think so (will not impact the spirit of the team). I think this team is prepared for any eventuality in terms of injuries. That’s the hardest part of being an opening batsman. The ball will seam and bounce a lot more when it’s hard and new,” Gavaskar told India Today from London on Tuesday.

“However, KL Rahul has come good in the last couple of games. He will be replacing Shikhar Dhawan for hopefully only the next couple of games. If it’s a fracture and if Dhawan can recover in the next 3 weeks hopefully for the game against England [on June 30], then that will be fantastic,” Gavaskar added.

Shikhar Dhawan has suffered a minor fracture and is currently under the observation of the BCCI medical team. The apex body of India cricket said it has not named any replacement as on Tuesday.

Dhawan was hit on the thumb as early as the 9th over of the Indian innings vs Australia on Sunday but he carried on and went on to make a match-winning 117.

Gavaskar pointed out that Dhawan has been one of India’s star performers in ICC tournaments and thus the team management will not be looking to make a hasty decision, considering a player can’t be brought back once his replacement is announced for the World Cup.

Temperament makes Dhawan a special player in ICC tournaments: Gavaskar

“If you replace Shikhar Dhawan, then he can’t be brought back even if he gets fit. That’s what the team management will be looking to assess. I also think the team management will be having a world with Dhawan. The man would himself want to play the World Cup. It comes only once every four years. He wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity. He has got a hundred already and is looking good.

“With Shikhar Dhawan, there is no such thing as form. He could be batting ordinary way. Just before the Australia game started, people were talking about ‘how is he going to handle Starc and how is he going to do this that’. But he showed us.

“Shikhar has an amazing temperament. At the end of the day, temperament is what separates the men from the boys.

“When you playing for your country, you should be able to bear a little bit of pain. You have got to sacrifice a bit when playing for your country at this stage.”

Having beaten South Africa and Australia to get their World Cup campaign off to a strong start, India will next face New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday before the big-ticket clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday in Manchester.

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