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India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2022: Gautam Gambhir question Karthik’s selection over Pant

Reacting to India’s Playing XI, ex-batter Gautam Gambhir found the decision surprising and said that he would prefer Pant over Karthik. Gambhir mentioned that if this move is part of India’s experimentation, he is not a fan of it since there isn’t much time left between now and the T20 World Cup.

“I won’t experiment from now on because how many games do we have… this Asia Cup? And then you’ve got what… five more games, six more games and then the World Cup. From now on, you want a settled Playing XI. Yes, you can have your backups as well but that is the way I would have wanted. It is a bit of a surprise because Rishabh Pant has been an X-factor,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

“You need a left-handed in the middle order. India have a lot of right-handers there, which is one-dimensional. And he has done reasonably well. He can be someone who can open the game for you and he can be a floater as well. A bit surprising but I hope it is not long-term. I will still back Rishabh Pant ahead of Dinesh Karthik. It’s a massive surprise.”

Greeted by a huge roar from fans in a near full-house after winning the toss, Sharma further said they have picked Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant for the last batting slot in the playing eleven.

It means that India have chosen their designated finisher over the left-handedness provided by Pant. “It was a tough call we had to take between playing Dinesh and Rishabh, Rishabh sadly misses out. And Avesh makes it as the third seamer,” said Rohit.

He further said that with this being India’s first game in Asia Cup 2022, they are focused on improving their previous mistakes.

“Honestly, I don’t think the toss is that important, we are just here to play good cricket. We’ve played here in the IPL, so hopefully the pitch will be good. This is an important game for us, but as cricketers we don’t want to think about the opposition, we just want to correct whatever mistakes we are doing.”

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said 19-year-old pacer Naseem Shah, who’s already made appearances in ODIs and Tests, is making his T20I debut. “We would have also been bowling first, but this is not in our hands. We will look to make a big score and see. Three fast bowlers, two spinners. There are a few new faces, and some old faces in that Indian team. We are trying to give it our best.”

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