Shankar out injured; Mayank named replacement

Vijay Shankar

The toe-crusher from Jasprit Bumrah during one of the practice sessions on June 19 in Southampton has cut short Vijay Shankar’s World Cup campaign, with the all-rounder being ruled out of the remainder of the event.

Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal has been summoned to replace the injured player.

The all-rounder, who had recovered from the injury to play two matches after K L Rahul had been moved up to open the innings following Shikhar Dhawan’s exit, saw his injury turn for the worse after the June 27 match against West Indies in Manchester. CT scans on the injured part have now revealed that the Tamil Nadu player would require a minimum of three weeks to recover, thus making him unavailable for the remaining part of the World Cup.

“Following the match on June 27, the condition of his (Shankar) toe worsened and a CT scan showed he sustained a non-displaced fracture of the left big toe. The condition will require a minimum of three weeks to heal. The injury rules him out of the ongoing World Cup.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Mayank Agarwal as Vijay Shankar's replacement following a request from the Indian team management for a suitable top-order batsman,” said a BCCI statement.

The ICC Technical Committee, meanwhile, has approved the replacement request for Shankar.  

After Dhawan’s finger fracture left him horse de combat, Shankar becomes the second Indian player to be ruled out due to injury. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has continued his recovery process after sustaining a hamstring injury about a fortnight ago.

Mayank had made his Test debut last December against Australia under similar circumstances after an ankle injury had ruled out Prithvi Shaw. He made a cracking start to his career with the senior Indian side with three half-centuries in four innings. He is yet to make his limited-overs debut for India but his record for Karnataka and India ‘A’ in List-A cricket has been impressive.

In 75 one-day matches for his State, the right-hander has amassed 3605 runs at an average of 48.71 since making his debut in 2012. In the last 24 months alone, Agarwal has scored 1747 runs in 31 innings at a staggering average of 58.23 and a strike rate of 105.75 with seven centuries and six half-centuries.

His record in England for India ‘A’ too has been impressive, with the Bengaluru boy plundering 442 runs (average 88.40 and strike rate 113.62) with three hundreds.

It will be interesting to see if the team management decides to play Agarwal who is an opener like his State-mate Rahul. In that situation, in all probability, Agarwal will open the innings with Rahul being pushed to No 4, where he began the tournament.    

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