The debate around Rishabh Pant's exclusion from the 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup in England doesn't seem to be dying anytime soon, especially after his glorious knock that helped Delhi Capitals register a six-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals and climb to the top spot on IPL points table for the first time since 2012 on Monday.
The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman lost out to veteran Dinesh Karthik, who will be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s back-up with the gloves in the tournament.
“We debated at length whether to pick Pant or DK (Dinesh Karthik). We felt that either of them would only come into the XI if Mahi (Dhoni) is injured. We felt that if it is a big game like semifinal or final, keeping ability also matters. Pant was almost there,” said Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad.
While Ambati Rayudu, who also missed out from the World Cup squad, responded to being left out by throwing some serious shade at the selectors, Pant (78* off 36) let his bat do the talking when he joined Shikhar Dhawan (54 off 27) and sent Rajasthan bowlers all around the park at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Pant's fans, who have already argued his exclusion from the big tournament, got an opportunity to take brutal jibes at BCCI and its selectors.
This Rishabh Pant innings was dedicated to BCCI selectors.April 22, 2019
I so hope BCCI regrets not taking Rishabh Pant in the WC Squad.#RRvDC— Vaishali (@ishusaini_24) April 22, 2019
This what Ricky Pointing had to say about Pant but BCCI have ignored it. pic.twitter.com/PdbkFMQDwP— How Football Saved Humans - Great Book to Read (@HowHumans) April 22, 2019
Pant to BCCI for not picking him in world cup squad - pic.twitter.com/uXraxFH4mY— kartik Singh Rajput (@kartiikkkk) April 22, 2019
We've got Rishabh Pant, Rishabh Pant
I just don't think you understand @BCCI
He'll hit Jofra/Bumrah for a six
He'll babysit Dhawan's kid
We've got Rishabh Pant #RRvDC— Akshay Sharma (@akshaypasu) April 22, 2019
looking at the way Rishabh Pant & DK are playing in this IPL! pic.twitter.com/t0fFN6TZCL— ً (@RealSatz) April 23, 2019
The previous week, Pant's omission from the WC had sparked a meme-fest online.
Meanwhile, here are the 15 Indian cricketers you'll be seeing in ICC World Cup 2019:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.