The International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved India’s request to replace injured batsman Vijay Shankar with Mayank Agarwal, who is set to fly out of India and join the rest of the squad in England.
Earlier in the tournament, Shankar was drafted in to replace Shikhar Dhawan, who sustained a thumb fracture during his match-winning century against Australia. He, however, failed to impress the team management — scoring just 58 runs in three matches.
Agarwal’s impressive domestic form, as well as his excellent record batting alongside KL Rahul, offers India a renewed hope after a campaign marred by constant injuries to their star players.
He has amassed a total of 3,964 runs in first-class cricket and has consecutive test match fifties to his name against Australia. Agarwal’s form while batting for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is also admirable.
The Bangalore born batsman has scored 332 runs in 13 games, with a formidable strike rate of 141.88. At a time when India’s batting has struggled to pile up runs in the initial overs, Agarwal’s inclusion in the line-up could accelerate the run rate and lay the foundation for a big total.
However, for their match against Bangladesh, India have opted to start Dinesh Karthik instead of the newly-arrived Agarwal. A win for India would seal their spot in the top four, while a Bangladesh victory keeps the Tigers’ hopes alive for progressing to the semifinals.