In India's upcoming Asia Cup Group A match against Hong Kong, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant was included in the playing eleven as all-rounder Hardik Pandya is rested.
In the match against Pakistan, which India won by five wickets, Pant was a surprise omission in order to retain Dinesh Karthik in the playing eleven.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who coached Delhi Capitals in the IPL where Pant was captain, admitted that he was really surprised over the left-handed batter not being in India's playing eleven against Pakistan on Sunday.
"I was really surprised. To be honest, there was some talk about it, once again on social media channels going into the game, which way would they go because I think they needed the sixth bowling option. He (Pant) is honestly one of my favourites having worked with him for a long time now at the Delhi Capitals, and obviously being a franchise captain."
"I have a bit more of a soft spot for him than most, but for all the right reasons as well because I know his character. I know his skillset, I know how much he wants to do well and how much he wants to win games – whether it's for Delhi Capitals or for India," said Ponting on The ICC Review Show.
But with Pant now back in India's playing eleven for the match against Hong Kong, Ponting admitted that choosing between him and Karthik will be a tough decision to make for the Indian selection committee.
"I don't think it'll be too long before we see him (Pant) back into that team. But once again, when you look at the balance that India had though in that side, you know it's hard to leave Karthik out because Dinesh is in career-best form, and by a long way."20220831-192801