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Sharma keen to shoulder burden for India after Shankar blow


By David Clough

India have lost their second first-choice batsman of the World Cup, with Vijay Shankar ruled out on the eve of their penultimate group game against Bangladesh.

Shankar has joined opener Shikhar Dhawan in losing his place in the squad, having been unable to recover from a toe injury.

He was struck on the left foot by team-mate Jasprit Bumrah in the nets and despite playing the next two games, against Afghanistan and the West Indies, scans have shown a fracture that requires three weeks to heal.

Test batsman Mayank Agarwal, who has yet to play a one-day international, has been approved as his replacement but Rishabh Pant, who stood in at No.4 in Sunday's defeat to England, can expect to continue at Edgbaston.

India need to win one of their two remaining games to be certain of a semi-final place, ramping up the expectation on their revamped top order.

Rohit Sharma has led the way so far, scoring three centuries in six innings, and the opener insisted he, rather than the likes of Pant, would be shouldering the burden.

"We know what he can do with the bat. He just needs confidence," Sharma said of his young team-mate. "Expecting a lot is not right at the moment from him, but he should just come and play.

"It is my duty, actually. Every game for me is a new game, and I try and do the same, try and see if I can finish the game, or bat as long as possible and get the team into a good position.

"Yes, the majority of the runs have been scored by the top three, but that's why we are here, to score runs, and we'll keep doing that as long as we are playing."

Bangladesh need an upset win to stay alive in the competition.

Belfast Telegraph


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