Seasoned commentator Harsha Bhogle recently took to Twitter to write a long post."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," Bhogle wrote.
21-year-old Rishabh Pant's exclusion from the 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup in England came as a shock to several cricket fans in India and led to an intense debate among the selectors.
The young talent 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.
Pant's exclusion wasn't received well at all and upset many.
Rishabh Pant > Vijay Shankar
Wtf @BCCI. Kitne all-rounders bharoge?— Sagar (@sagarcasm) April 15, 2019
No @RishabPant777 in the World Cup Squad ... India must be bonkers !!!!!— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) 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
Heartbreak for Pant. Karthik gets nod because of better keeping skills, just in case MSD is injured before a crucial match— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 15, 2019
But staying true to their Twitter game, many imagined Pant's reaction after being dropped from the World Cup squad with memes (and jibes).
Rishabh Pant looking at the world Cup Squad pic.twitter.com/KQsRFf4aw7— Muthu Kumar (@Muthu_Kumar07) April 15, 2019
Rishabh Pant to Dinesh Karthik pic.twitter.com/B3UsAHhncE— NaMo (Nayan Mongia ) (@Original_Namo) April 15, 2019
*BCCI selects Dinesh Kartik Over Rishabh Pant*
Rishabh Pant to BCCI- pic.twitter.com/D9XVTArpmU— N I T I N (@theNitinWalke) April 15, 2019
Rishabh Pant gets 4 years to improve his wicket keeping skills.— Sunil- The cricketer (@1sInto2s) April 15, 2019
Unfortunately, 33-year-old Ambati Rayudu, too, was left out from the squad.
Ambati Rayudu must be shattered though. His place was deemed certain and he had even quit 4 day cricket to focus on this. But form is such a cruel mistress. The harder he tried the more he seemed to struggle. My heart goes out to him.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 15, 2019
All-rounder Vijay Shankar, who has been chosen as India's number 4 batsman, also turned several heads on social media.
Vijay Shankar to BCCI after getting selected in the World Cup squad. pic.twitter.com/BPy6quQVvh— Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) April 15, 2019
Vijay Shankar after seeing his name in indian squad for worldcup... pic.twitter.com/LxcucbYLMt— Varun Kumar Singh (@VarunKumar65) April 15, 2019
Here's the 15-man squad from India for 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.