Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will be joining the Indian team as cover for the injured Shikhar Dhawan as the Indian team prepares for their next match against New Zealand.
“Pant will be joining the team at the earliest as back-up as requested by the team management. Like Khaleel (Ahmed) he will be travelling with the team but he won’t be part of the squad just yet,” a BCCI official told CricketNext from Nottingham. Pant, whose omission from the original squad became a topic of heated debates given his stupendous form in the past one year, will reach Nottingham on June 12, reported News18.
“Pant has already been informed and his kit as well as other paperwork has been handed to him. We are trying to get him to England as soon as possible but it all depends on the BCCI logistics team. However, we want to make it clear that Pant is not available for selection because he is not an official replacement yet,” the BCCI official told News18.
Pant, in the meanwhile, will join the team and start training straightaway. He should be ready in time to come into the Indian playing XI if needed for the game against New Zealand. The BCCI in a statement said, "Team India opening batsman Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team. The team management has decided that Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored.
"Dhawan sustained an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb during the league match against Australia on Sunday." Latest reports suggest Dhawan could be out for only 2 weeks as he only has a minor fracture. In his absence, the Indian team, in all likelihood, open with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma against New Zealand on June 13.