Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane cleared the air by saying that India had a hard call to not select Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma in playing XI yet that the choice was taken in view of the team's particular necessities for the first Test versus West Indies in Antigua.
Ajinkya Rahane, speaking after the finish of Day 1 of the very first Test between India and the West Indies in Antigua on Thursday, said that India had a hard call to not include Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma from the playing XI yet that the choice was taken in light of the team's specific requirements.
"It's difficult when you miss a player like Ashwin however the executives are always thinking so as to what is the best combination," Rahane said.
"They thought Jadeja was a decent choice on this wicket as we required a 6th batsman, who can really bowl. Vihari can really bowl on this track. So that was the communication between captain and coach. It is really hard to see players like Ashwin and Rohit (Sharma) sitting out however it's totally for the team," Rahane said at the post-match media interaction.
Prior, Sunil Gavaskar was not happy about the choice of not to field Ashwin. "(The selection ) astonished me," Gavaskar said while doing analysis. "Aman with that sort of record, particularly against West Indies. He doesn't discover a spot in this playing XI. That is staggering. Amazing," Gavaskar said.
Ashwin has scored 552 runs with four hundred and taken 60 wickets with four five-fors against the West Indies in 11 Tests (home and away).
On Thursday, it was Rahane who tied down India's fightback after West Indies placed the guests in a spot of trouble in the wake of choosing to field first. He came to bat when India was reeling at 25/3, however his consistent 81 put the Indian innings on street to recuperation.
Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja will resume batting for India, who have a medium-term score of 203/6, on the morning of Day 2.