India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 5th day March 18, 2013

Injured Dhawan doubtful for Delhi

ESPNcricinfo staff

India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was Man of the Match for his 187 on debut in Mohali, is unlikely to play the fourth Test against Australia because of an injury sustained in the field. Speaking after his team had taken a 3-0 lead in the series, India captain MS Dhoni said Dhawan "may not play in the next Test. You will get an official word on it."

Dhawan was fielding on the boundary between point and third man during Australia's second innings on the fourth day, and he jammed his left hand into the ground while trying to stop a Phillip Hughes square drive. He did not field for the rest of Sunday and after the day's play was taken to hospital in Chandigarh by the physio Nitin Patel.

The nature of Dhawan's injury had not yet been confirmed, though he said he had "hurt his knuckles", and x-rays suggested it was largely a muscular injury. If the injury persists, Dhawan will be forced to miss the Test in his hometown Delhi, which begins on March 22.

Should Dhawan miss the Test, there is a very strong possibility that rather than call up a replacement opener, the Indian selectors would choose to have Ajinkya Rahane fill in for Dhawan.

Rahane has been a part of the Indian set-up since the 2011-2012 tour of Australia without having played in a single Test despite the fading form of the established opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, and India losing six out of ten Tests between Boxing Day 2011 and 2012. At the start of the home series against England late last year, though, chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil had said that his panel were considering Rahane to essentially be a middle-order batsman. Dhawan's injury may end up giving Rahane the opportunity to do something other than carry drinks for India in Test matches.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TR on March 19, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @Anand Palwankar, I agree to your point. Yes, RSharma showed his talent, but after how many chances? The point is he DID get many many chances. Where as consider who was never let in for a decade. Dilip Vengsarkar, when he was the selector, said 'Badri is knocking at the door for long'. Even after that Badri kept scoring centuries after centuries in the FC matches. Yet, RSharma, Raina, Yuvraj etc entered the Ind middle order and Badri was ignored. When he was finally given chance in tests against SA Styne/Morkel he scored 56 followed by two low scores one of them in a fading light condition and Styne with new ball in his hand, where Dhoni did not send nightwatchman! Now Badri didn't play many matches this year due to injury and has recently come back. And no one even talks about him. Any one who says a player XYZ was treated with injustice, just look at Badri.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    If Dhawan takes time to recover, what is wrong in India opening with Vijay & Rahane? Even if Dhwan is fit to play, Sachin should graciously vacate his position for Rahane. Whichever way it happens, Rahane should be tried out.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I would like to see Wasim Jaffer getting an opportunity in the Delhi Test if Dhawan can't make it. Rahane is a very fine talent and a good prospect for the middle order.

  • Rakesh on March 19, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @ yavaid - Tiwary is injured. Wake up. Rahit has hardly had chances in tests, the format he is best suited for. Mr Very Very Selfish and Wall with holes have kept youngsters out. Something what SRT is doing right now as well.

  • uncle bob on March 19, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Opening with Jadeja is a thought. He will be more successful with the bat at 4-5 position to team up with Pujara. Batting at No 7 is never easy.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    @CricketMaan really? Jadeja opening? He has improved his bowling but people need to get over this "allrounder" story... he is visible uncomfortable batting at no. 7 and people want him to open!

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Open with Bhuvaneswar kumar & M. vijay then order like that pujara,Rahane,sachin,kohli,dhoni,ravindra jadeja,ashwin,sharma,ohja

  • Pradeep on March 19, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    I am happy that Rahane will finally get a chance to play test match for India however will be equally disappointed if he opens the innings, he is a middle order batsmen by nature, he will do well for India and himself in middle order in a long run as he avg's 67 in those positions. How abt Jadeja opening the innings ??

  • Naveen on March 19, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Drop Sachin and ishant, bring in some pace bowler from domestic circuit and manoj tiwary to replace sachin. I think Rohit had his of chances for 5 years now. He keeps learning till now on what shot to play. In international cricket you can only learn to adjust temperament and pace innings, not selection.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Unfortunate for Shikhar, but finally Ajinkya Rahane will get his chance!

    Question is: will he open the innings in place of Dhawan, or will Pujara instead open with Vijay, and Raha to come at No. 3?