Team India registered a brilliant victory against Pakistan in their opening clash of Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday, August 28 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. However, their decision to bench Rishabh Pant from the XI raised a few questions from the experts and fans. Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja gave a quirky response when asked about Rishabh Pant’s omission during the press conference.
India decided to play Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant against Pakistan. However, Dinesh Karthik could not get much time in the middle, as he was slotted at number 7. Instead, Ravindra Jadeja was promoted to number 4 by the team. Many believe that the Indian team should have played Rishabh Pant in the XI if they want a left-hander in the top four.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was asked by a journalist about Rishabh Pant’s omission from the team when he attended the press conference ahead of the Hong Kong match. Replying to the question, Jadeja expressed that it is an out-of-the-syllabus question for him.
“I absolutely don’t know this. This is a question out of my book,” he said.
— Guess Karo (@KuchNahiUkhada) August 30, 2022
Surprising, because Rishabh Pant has been an X-factor: Gautam Gambhir on the wicket-keeper’s omission
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir criticized India’s decision to bench Rishabh Pant from the XI against Pakistan. He expressed that with the 2022 T20 World Cup around the corner, the team should not experiment with playing XI. Gautam Gambhir also added that he was surprised with the decision, as Rishabh Pant has been an ‘X-factor’. He said,
“I won’t experiment from now on because how many games do we have… this Asia Cup? And then you’ve got what… five more games, six more games, and then the World Cup. From now on, you want a settled Playing XI. Yes, you can have your backups as well but that is the way I would have wanted. It is a bit of a surprise because Rishabh Pant has been an X-factor.”
Team India will take on Hong Kong in their second match of the 2022 Asia Cup group stages. The match will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. They will qualify for the Super Four stages if they secure a win against Hong Kong.