India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand with a shoulder injury. The 33-year-old cricketer suffered from the injury during the third ODI against Australia on Sunday. The Indian squad left for New Zealand on Monday night, and Dhawan did not travel with the side. BCCI is yet to announce a replacement for the opener.
"Yes, he has been ruled out of the T20 series. A replacement will be announced soon" a BCCI official told PTI.
Dhawan fell awkwardly on his left shoulder while fielding in the final ODI of the series in Bengaluru, and was eventually ruled out of the rest of the game.
The opener had made a remarkable comeback in the series against Australia, scoring 74 and 96 in the first two ODIs. He came back in the side as an opener after KL Rahul had seemingly made the case to replace him as the first-choice opening batsman alongside Rohit Sharma.
While a replacement is not made, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are all part of India A side which is currently in New Zealand, and all could be in contention to replace the opener in the squad.
Shaw slammed a splendid 150 in 100 deliveries in the second warm-up match against New Zealand XI last week.
The five-match T20I series will follow a three-match ODI series. A back-up opener in Mayank Agarwal or Prithvi Shaw could make a case for selection in Dhawan's absence, given he fails to recover in time for the fifty-over series.