India trigger shockwaves by dropping Rishabh Pant against Pakistan; fans react

India made a huge call of leaving out Rishabh Pant for the start of their Asia Cup 2022 campaign in Dubai on Sunday.ย 
 
Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant's place in the T20I side had been under scrutiny over his sustained non-performances in the shortest format.ย 

India started off their Asia Cup 2022 campaign by leaving shockwaves around the cricket world, dropping their star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant for the high-voltage Group A encounter versus Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday (August 28). 

Having won the toss and opted to bowl first, skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed there is no place for Pant in India's first XI of the tournament. With the team management not yet comfortable putting a struggling Virat Kohli under the scanner, Pant was in a direct tussle for one spot with the fellow keeper and explosive batter Dinesh Karthik. 

In the initial bout, the decision-makers have favoured Karthik's end-overs exploits at No.7 over the left-handedness that Rishabh Pant provides at No.4 to the side. 

The team management had used Pant as their middle-order maverick to counter match-ups in the build-up to the Asia Cup. But seems to have backtracked from their original plan, giving Karthik the nod while providing Kohli some breathing space. 

Fans react to the Rishabh Pant axe for Pakistan clash

Rishabh Pant's axing attracted mixed reactions over social media, with some feeling perplexed by the decision and some accepting the call considering the circumstances in which the decision has been made. 

Here is how some of the fans reacted to the move: 

 

 

 

 

 
   
   
   
 

The decision taken by Rohit and coach Rahul Dravid prior to the Pakistan clash had been set in stone for a while. An established Test and ODI player, Rishabh Pant had been under scrutiny over his T20I performances for India. 

Pant has been a longstanding failure in the shortest format of the game in Indian colours, carrying a woeful record to his name in T20Is. After 54 matches, the 24-year-old averages 23.86 with a poor strike-rate of 126.32; his tally featuring only three scores of fifty and above. 

Despite this, however, the Dravid-led management was expected to continue backing Pant for his talent and promise, keeping in mind the x-factor he brings to the table with his left-handedness ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. 

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