Former Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh reckons that the Indian team management took the right call by preferring the veteran gloveman, Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant in the playing XI against Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2022 opener. Harbhajan also added that Karthik should play in the shortest format of the game and make the most of his career as he might retire in a few years.
India commenced its Asia Cup 2022 campaign with a win against Pakistan by five wickets. However, one of the decisions of team management raised a few eyebrows as they picked Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant in the playing XI and that was an unexpected move. Karthik has made a comeback to the national set-up after an impressive outing in IPL 2022 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The decision to opt for Karthik also hinted at team management’s thinking ahead of T20 World Cup in Australia. Harbhajan Singh has come in support of the decision saying Karthik should play in T20Is as he has made the most of the opportunities after IPL 2022.
During a chat with AajTak from Dubai, Harbhajan Singh said, “Rishabh Pant, no doubt, has done very well even in Test cricket and one-dayers. He has been very good. But in this shortest format, he has not been an accomplished player. However, if you look at Dinesh Karthik, his graph is only going upward. He has performed well. This is the right decision. In this format, in this form, there is no use keeping him on the bench.”
He further explained, “It’s time for Dinesh Karthik to play, he should play. Rishabh Pant is young, he still has plenty of time left. However, Dinesh Karthik has only 1-2 years left and he should make the most of it, the team should also use Karthik’s form and make the most of it. He can win a lot of matches, batting down the order.”
Rishabh Pant has amassed 883 runs from 54 T20Is at an average of less than 25. He hasn’t been able to perform in the shorter formats consistently like ODIs and Tests.