The shocking omission of Rishabh Pant demonstrates India’s calibre, says Ricky Ponting

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Australian batsman Ricky Ponting believes that Rishabh Pant’s “unexpected” exclusion from India’s starting XI against Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener demonstrates the team’s strength going into the T20 World Cup.

Dinesh Karthik, who has recently served as India’s primary finisher, was chosen over Pant, who has since returned for the match against Hong Kong after the team’s management decided to rest all-arounder Hardik Pandya here on Wednesday.

“I was genuinely shocked. Since they probably required the sixth bowling option, there was some discussion on social media before the game about which direction they would go “On the “ICC Review” show, Ponting stated.

With Ponting serving as the team’s head coach, Pant captains the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. The former Australian captain has never been shy about sharing his admiration for the daring Indian cricketer.

“Being a franchise captain and having worked with him for a considerable amount of time at the Delhi Capitals, Pant is undoubtedly one of my favourites.

“Before long, I believe, we’ll see Pant (the player) rejoin that team (which he did against Hong Kong). But once more, when you consider the balance India have in that side, you realise it’s difficult to omit Karthik because Dinesh is by far in his greatest form of his career.

“I’ll return to this point since the Indian selectors must make some significant and difficult choices. You know you have a decent side when you exclude someone from Rishabh Pant’s star status.”

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