Rishabh Pant’s omission was surprising, shows India’s quality: Ricky Ponting | Cricket News – Times of India

DUBAI: Australian batting great Ricky Ponting feels Rishabh Pant‘s “surprise” omission from India’s playing XI in their Asia Cup opener against Pakistan shows the quality the team possesses heading into the T20 World Cup.
India’s designated finisher in recent times, Dinesh Karthik was preferred over Pant, who has however returned for the game against Hong Kong after the team management decided to rest all-rounder Hardik Pandya here on Wednesday.
“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,” Ponting said on the ‘ICC Review’ show.
Pant leads the Delhi Capitals in the IPL with Ponting as the team’s head coach, and the former Australian captain has never shied away from expressing his fondness for the swashbuckling Indian cricketer.
“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.
At the same time, Ponting agreed that it’s not easy for the Indian team management to decide the best XI, given Karthik’s exploits in recent times.
“I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see him (Pant) back into that team (which he did against Hong Kong). 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.
“This is where I’ll come back again, the Indian selectors have got some big decisions to make, tough decisions to make. When you’re leaving someone out of the star quality of Rishabh Pant, you know that you have got a good side.”

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