Rishabh Pant’s straightforward response to threat from Dinesh Karthik over place in India’s T20I line-up for Asia Cup

Written by Abhishek Patil

Before India gear up for the T20 World Cup in Australia later in October, the Rohit Sharma-led side will have a chance to test themselves in the impending Asia Cup tournament which begins from August 27 onwards in the UAE.

India have picked their 15-man squad with their playing XI largely set for the tournament, but veterans and experts have opined in picking one between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik to get the combination right. And the youngster, in response to these claims and subsequent competition in the XI, has come with a straightforward reply.

India have played Karthik and Pant in the same line-up through most of the T20I games since June. They have featured together in the home series against South Africa and in the away series in West Indies, with the youngster featuring as the wicketkeeper while the veteran as a finisher.

However, experts and veterans feel that India must pick one between the two in a bid to add more balance to the squad by fitting in Hardik Pandya and returning Virat Kohli to the XI.

Speaking to Zee Hindustan on the potential threat he faces from Karthik over his spot in the T20I line-up for the Asia Cup, Pant said, “We don’t think on those lines. We as individuals always want to give our 100 per cent to the team. Rest depends on the coach and the captain and how the team could get an advantage from that.”

Pant and Karthik have both not been picked for the Zimbabwe tour which begins from August 18 onwards. They two will directly feature next in the Asia Cup, where India will play against their arch-nemesis Pakistan in their opener on August 28 at the Dubai International Stadium.

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Abhishek Patil