Dinesh Karthik has been chosen in the starting lineup for India in their Asia Cup 2022 match against Pakistan ahead of the in-form Rishabh Pant. This has come as a surprise to fans, and even to Wasim Akram, who said that he found the choice quite surprising. Notably, Karthik, 37, had earlier retired from cricket and became a cricket commentator. Pant, 27, scored 44 runs in his last T20I match (against West Indies on August 6, 2022).

India won the toss and chose to bowl. Regarding the toss’ result, Babar Azam said, “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 and a debut for Naseem Shah. There are a few new faces, and some old faces in that Indian team. We are trying to give it our best.”

Sharma, on the other hand, was of the opinion that a toss doesn’t make much of a difference. He said, ”

We’ve played here in the IPL, so hopefully the pitch will be good. 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. 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. We are bowling first.”

Fans have reacted strongly to Rishabh Pant missing out on a position of the playing XI:

A fan has spewed their anger on the BCCI for Pant’s omission. However, the cricket control board has no say in who will be in a playing XI:

India Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (w), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani