In a huge blow to India’s World Cup campaign, opener Shikhar Dhawan was Tuesday ruled out of action for three weeks after suffering a thumb fracture. Dhawan sustained the injury while batting during India’s 36-run victory against Australia at The Oval on Sunday.

Dhawan, who scored a century, played through pain after being hit on the thumb by a rising delivery from pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile during the first innings. He looked in considerable discomfort but carried on to score 117 off 109 balls.

However, Dhawan didn’t take the field due to the injury when India bowled and Ravindra Jadeja fielded as a substitute.

Dhawan is set to miss India’s upcoming matches against New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Indies and England which will be played in June.

The 33-year-old absence could see KL Rahul open the batting with Rohit Sharma while Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar could be drafted in the middle-order.

A replacement is likely to be named by the Board of Control for Cricket in India anytime soon.

(with PTI inputs)