Sport

Ajinkya Rahane explains why India did not play Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma

Ajinkya Rahane explains why India did not play Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma

Ajinkya Rahane, speaking after the conclusion of Day 1 of the first Test between India and West Indies in Antigua on Thursday, said that India had a hard call to make in leaving out Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma from the playing XI but that the decision was taken with the team’s specific requirements in mind.

“It’s difficult when you miss a player like Ashwin but team management is always thinking as to what is the best combination,” Rahane said.

“They thought Jadeja was a good option on this wicket as we needed a sixth batsman, who can actually bowl. Vihari can actually bowl on this track. So that was the communication between captain and coach. It is hard to find players like Ashwin and Rohit (Sharma) sitting out but’s it’s all for the team,” Rahane said at post-match media interaction.

Earlier, Sunil Gavaskar had slammed the decision to not field Ashwin. “(The selection) astonished me,” Gavaskar said while doing commentary. “A man with that kind of record, especially against West Indies. He doesn’t find a place in this playing XI. That is stunning. Astonishing,” Gavaskar said.

Ashwin has scored 552 runs with four hundreds and taken 60 wickets with four five-fors against the West Indies in 11 Tests (home and away).

On Thursday, it was Rahane who anchored India’s fightback after West Indies put the visitors in a spot of bother after electing to field first. He came to bat when India were reeling at 25/3, but his steady 81 put the Indian innings on road to recovery.

Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja will resume batting for India, who have an overnight score of 203/6, on the morning of Day 2.