Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly is surprised with the exclusion of Rishabh Pant for the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Prince of Kolkata is not happy with national selectors’ decision to leave Pant out for the six-team tournament in the UAE, as he is confident that the young wicket-keeper batsman is ready for the One Day International to play on such big platform.
Pant, who got golden opportunity to make his Test debut in England after back-to-back failures from Dinesh Karthik, played the last three Tests with the final Test being a special one from him, as he cracked his maiden Test hundred at The Oval.
Ganguly wrote in his column for The Times of India on Tuesday (September), “I am surprised to see no Pant in the squad. The Asia Cup squad was selected before his Oval hundred and the way he batted in his last innings, I am sure he is ready for the ODI format as well.”
Virat Kohli, regular captain of the Indian Team has been rested for the prestigious event after grueling England tour, which has given the great opportunity to Rohit Sharma to lead the defending champions in the tournament. Since then, there have been talks that Kohli’s absence could affect Indian batting line-up in the Asia Cup, but Ganguly firmly believes that India are still a very strong team even without him.
India still boasts of some quality players in Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, and Hardik Pandya and the former captain said Virat’s absence will only an opportunity to showcase talent here.
He further added, “India will be without Virat Kohli. Yes, he is a huge pillar of strength but even without him this is a strong team. In the batting department, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are out-and-out match winners in this format. Virat's absence will also provide an opportunity to showcase talent because, with the recent failure, the No. 4 and 5 spots will be up for grabs.”
Meanwhile, India is all set to take on Hong Kong in their opening match of Asia Cup 2018 on Tuesday in Dubai, while facing the arch-rivals Pakistan on September 19.
.He signed off by saying, “As, usual, there will be a lot of hype about Wednesday's match against Pakistan, but for both India and Pakistan, it will be key to look at the entire tournament. Winning the Asia Cup, after all, is more important than just one game.”