Harbhajan Singh believes that choosing Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant in the playing XI was the right move by Indian team against Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener. Harbhajan also added that Dinesh Karthik should play in the T20Is and make most of his career as he might retire in few years.
India started Asia Cup 2022 with a win against Pakistan by five wickets. They scripted a five-wicket victory but a move from team management raised a few eyebrows. Dinesh Karthik was preferred over Rishabh Pant in the playing XI and that was an unexpected move. Karthik has made a return to the national set-up after an impressive outing in IPL 2022 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The decision to opt for Karthik also hinted team management’s thinking ahead of T20 World Cup in Australia. Harbhajan Singh has backed the decision saying Karthik should play in T20Is as he has made most of the opportunities after IPL 2022.
"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. It's time for Dinesh Karthik to play, he should play," Harbhajan told AajTak from Dubai.
"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," he added.
Pant has managed 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 longer formats.