India look to equal World Cup record vs New Zealand in Shikhar Dhawan’s absence

first_imgTeam India will be looking to get past the disappointment of losing Shikhar Dhawan in their World Cup 2019 campaign and start fresh as they face New Zealand in their next game at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday.India were beaten comprehensively by New Zealand in their first warm up match last month with Trent Boult destroying the famed Indian batting lineup. Coach Ravi Shastri and the rest of the support staff will have to find out ways of dealing with the New Zealand pacers and find answers for the batsmen to tackle the swing in Nottingham.The weather forecast says that conditions will be overcast with rain being a certainty, so it can be safely assumed that the bowlers will have the upper hand in the game in favourable conditions.Moreover, India will be without the services of Dhawan for the next few matches at least, if not for the rest of the tournament, after the in-form opener fractured his left thumb and got ruled out for 2 weeks on Tuesday.Virat Kohli and the Indian team management will have to think of a new strategy now in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, who had hit a century in the last match against Australia which India won by 36 runs at The Oval.Also, it will be interesting to see whom they include in place of Dhawan. Either they can include Dinesh Karthik to strengthen their batting or they can go with either Ravindra Jadeja or Vijay Shankar, who give them a bowling option too.advertisementIndia are trailing 3-4 against New Zealand in the head-to-head record in the World Cup with their last win coming 16 years ago in the 2003 World Cup which was also the last time they had met in a World Cup.New Zealand’s World Cup victories against India came in the 1975, 1979, 1992, 1999 editions while India won twice in 1987 and once in 2003.India however, are ahead in the overall head-to-head record against the Kiwis in one-day internationals with 51 wins out of 101 meetings. New Zealand have 44 wins to their credit so far.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to put in an official request for a replacement for Dhawan but the team management has decided to call up Rishabh Pant as cover for the injured opener.Pant will be joining the team on Wednesday and will start training with the squad straightaway. The management wants Pant to be match ready if at all they need his services against New Zealand or later in the tournament. In the meantime, they will be monitoring Dhawan’s recovery.Shikha OUT the World Cup.Get Pant on the plane ASAP.KL Rahul to open and Pant at number 4…Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) June 11, 2019India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh backed the idea of Pant replacing Dhawan in the playing XI but also said that Ajinkya Rahane can be tried as well.”At the moment, if I have to pick one replacement player, it would be Rishabh Pant or if you want to go for experience, then it would be Ajinkya Rahane,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today.India and New Zealand are the only two teams which are unbeaten in the tournament so far. India have two wins from two games while New Zealand top the points table with three victories and 6 points.Also Read | Shikhar Dhawan injury will not affect Team India’s morale, says Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | India will dominate World Cup 2019 like Australia did in 2003, 2007: R AshwinAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan’s pain threshold is incredible, says Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | Get Rishabh Pant on the plane ASAP: Kevin Pietersen suggests Shikhar Dhawan replacementlast_img read more