India all-rounder Vijay Shankar’s World Cup 2019 has come to an end as a toe injury sustained in the nets while batting against Jasprit Bumrah has ruled him out of the tournament. Vijay sustained a non displaced fracture of the left big toe, which will require a minimum of three weeks to heal. Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal is set to be roped in as a replacement, pending ICC approval.
Mayank made his Test debut last December against Australia, but is yet to make his bow in the 50-over format. In List-A cricket for Karnataka, Mayank has played 75 games since making his debut in 2012, scoring 3605 runs at an average of 48.71.
Interestingly, Mayank plies his trade at the top of the order for Karnataka. Should India consider to let him do that at the World Cup, they can play KL Rahul at No.4 – which was the original arrangement they began the World Cup with.
Vijay’s inclusion in the final squad came at the cost of Ambati Rayudu, who had been looked at as a potential No.4 batsman for the showpiece event.
But Rayudu’s dwindling form leading up the tournament and Vijay’s performances – against New Zealand and Australia – earned him the ticket instead. Vijay didn’t set the world alight in the warm-up matches, and the No.4 spot in the tournament proper went to KL Rahul instead, who scored a century against Bangladesh in the warm-up game.
But once Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out with injury, Rahul had to be moved up with Vijay coming in at No.4. Vijay got to play just three games – batting as low as No. 6 in the match against Pakistan. In the two other games, where he played at two-drop, Vijay couldn’t quite make use of the opportunity, ending up with scores of 15 off 19 balls against West Indies and 29 off 41 against Afghanistan.
As he copped a bit of criticism for squandering opportunities, he received a public backing from his captain Virat Kohli, who talked up the all-rounder’s utility in the side leading up to the England fixture on Sunday (June 30). However, Vijay had to miss out of that game because of the same toe injury which has now ruled him out entirely.