When the 15-member Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 was announced and Rishabh Pant's name didn't feature in it, some people were surprised. However, chief selector MSK Prasad made it clear that the reasons for Pant not being picked – despite his undeniable talent – was Dinesh Karthik's superior quality as a keeper.
"Well, it's definitely a case where we have debated at length and all of us, in unison, felt that either Rishabh Pant or DK will only come into the playing XI if Mahi (MS Dhoni) is injured," chief selector MSK Prasad said. He then nailed home the point about Pant's keeping, "So at that juncture, it is a crucial match like the semi-final or an important game (of the World Cup), wicketkeeping also matters. So that's the only reason why we went ahead with Dinesh Karthik. Otherwise, Rishabh Pant was almost there."
Indeed, Pant's keeping has come in for a lot of criticism. Even in Australia, he was guilty of missing chances while the recent home series against Australia too witnessed the left-hander committing errors. In fact, every time he made a mistake, the crowd responded by chanting 'Dhoni, Dhoni' much to the discomfort of the young Delhi lad.
So, how did the fans and experts react to his omission from the World Cup squad? Let's take a look at some of the more prominent reactions on social media. Most people seem unhappy with the decision but they also saw the funny side of the story.
Some also raised questions about the logic of selectors in not picking the Delhi Capitals' star.
While Pant will be a bit confused given that he is the test keeper but has been left out on wicketkeeping skills, this caps an astonishing sequence of events for Dinesh Karthik. From being down and out in life to being at the World Cup. It is a story of hope.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 15, 2019
Wasn’t Pant elevated to the top tier of the Central Contracts a few weeks back?? Not a certainty in two of the three formats. ??— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 15, 2019
Karthik over Pant is defensive thinking IMO. If Pant is first choice wk for Tests, what reduces his ability for ODIs?— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 15, 2019
Kartik for Pant is the only debating point. Rest all on expected lines. If Pant keeps in test cricket can keeping be the issue? Or is it bec he is throwing his wicket away too many times?— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) April 15, 2019
NOT picking Pant is preparing for the worst. You're building a side around the idea that a top three containing arguably the two best ODI players of their generation (and arguably the GOAT) is going to fail. It suggests, implicitly, that India are scarred by the 2017 CT final.— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) April 15, 2019
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (WK), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik (WK)