India opener Shikhar Dhawan was forced off the field in just the fifth over of the deciding ODI against Australia, clasping a problematic shoulder.
Dhawan’s participation in the Bengaluru match on January 19 had been up in the air, as he had been struck on the ribs by a short ball from Pat Cummins in the second ODI in Rajkot two days before. While he managed a fine 96 in a winning cause, he did not come out to field in that game.
He was subsequently cleared to appear in the third ODI and appeared to pick up another injury in the fifth over of the match, after Australia chose to bat. Stationed at cover, he put in a dive to stop a shot from Aaron Finch, but stood up holding his shoulder, appearing in some pain. He was escorted off the field for a check-up.
He remained off the field for much of Australia’s innings, with the BCCI confirming that he had been taken for an X-ray. “A call on him being available for the game will be taken once he is back [and] assessed,” the management said in a post on social media.
Josh Hazlewood is playing his first ODI in 14 months!
And, for someone who made his debut in the format back in 2010, it’s his first ODI ever in India ? pic.twitter.com/HUO5l5ZJie
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 19, 2020
Dhawan’s past year has been blighted by injuries. His World Cup was cut short by a thumb injury, while he missed the series against West Indies after hurting his knee.
In his absence, KL Rahul made a strong case to be considered the first-choice opener, but a good comeback during the Sri Lanka series and against Australia ensured Dhawan retained his place.
Meanwhile, Dhawan’s opening partner Rohit Sharma too is an injury concern, but was cleared for the game. Rohit had also hurt his left shoulder while diving near the boundary in the previous match. There are concerns that the recurring issue could affect his ability to throw.