A shoulder injury has ruled India opener Shikhar Dhawan out of the five-match T20I series in New Zealand.
Dhawan picked up the injury, to his left shoulder, while diving to stop the ball during the third ODI against Australia in Bengaluru on Sunday, just about five overs into the match. Already facing injury concerns after being hit on the ribs by a bouncer in the previous game, Dhawan hobbled off clutching his shoulder, did not return to the field, and was seen sporting a sling as he watched the rest of India's win from the sidelines.
He did not travel with the team to New Zealand for the series starting on 24 January, and according to media reports on Tuesday, was ruled out of the T20I leg of the tour.
The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks for Dhawan. The opener's World Cup last year was cut short after just two matches, as he broke his thumb during a century against Australia. Later, a cut on his knee kept him out of the home T20Is against West Indies. Returning for the series against Sri Lanka, he made a couple of valuable knocks, including a fifty in a series win.
With his opening spot under threat from an in-form Rahul, Dhawan established his place with two half-centuries against Australia, and withstood the pain from being hit on the chest in the second game to make a sparkling 96.
One of the players from the India A squad, which is also touring New Zealand, is likely to step in as a replacement, with Sanju Samson and Prithvi Shaw seen as front-runners.
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