With so much talent available at India’s disposal, skipper Rohit Sharma was bound to make a big change. And that big change came against arch-rivals Pakistan when Pant was dropped from the side. Instead, Dinesh Karthik made his way, although he didn’t get any opportunity to bat with India romping home with five wickets. Nonetheless, former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja feels that Pant’s inclusion in the side is necessary as he can play a crucial role in case the top order has an off day.
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Pant was brought back into the side against Hong Kong as Hardik Pandya was dropped.
“His wicket-keeping has certainly improved and I don’t think there is a batter who has played like that across all formats," the former India player told Cricbuzz.
“India’s problem in ICC events has mainly been the inability to win big matches after losing the top order. But you need players who can step up in such situations, so Pant’s presence in that playing XI is a no-brainer for me," he added.
ASIA CUP 2022: FULL COVERAGE | SCHEDULE | RESULTS
Furthermore, former India keeper Parthiv Patel mentioned how Pant’s inclusion can be the game changer as it brings the left-right combination to the fore.
“You have to include Pant in that playing XI somehow. He is a game-changer. He also gives a left-right combination. There is no doubt about KL Rahul’s ability, but the injuries he has had and the limited number of games he has played puts a doubt with the World Cup being so close," explained Parthiv.
India became the second team to qualify for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2022 as they beat Hong Kong by 40 runs.
India were not at their best but Suryakumar Yadav was, his 26-ball 68 paving the way for the defending champions’ 40-run victory over Hong Kong and entry into the Super 4 of the Asia Cup here on Wednesday. Suryakumar’s scintillating knock lifted a sedate India to 192 for two, the Mumbaikar easily overshadowing Virat Kohli’s fluent half-century after Hong Kong opted to bowl first.
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