Indian Cricket Team management's decision to leave out Ajinkya Rahane for the first two Tests in South Africa, despite having a good overseas record, was highly criticized by fans and many cricket pundits.
Head Coach Ravi Shastri defended the decision, saying the management always selects best playing XI and if they failed to deliver, then it was not fair to question the decision.
Vice-captain –Rahane is one of the most successful Indian overseas batsmen in recent years, but the team management preferred to go with limited-overs specialist Rohit Sharma due to his "current form" in South Africa, where the hitman failed to score runs as well, which situations forced management to rethink about Rahane for the final encounter tomorrow in Johannesburg.
As per PTI, Shastri told reporters when asked about the selection policy, “If Ajinkya (Rahane) had played the first Test and not done well, you would have asked me the same question about why Rohit hasn't played. Rohit played, he didn't do well, so you are asking me why Ajinkya didn't play.”
The head coach further added on the same, “The same would have happened with the fast bowlers. So you have choices. The team management has discussed what is the best option. They stick by it and they go by it. Overseas, you go on current form, you go on conditions. You see which player can adapt to certain conditions quicker than the other.”
Commenting on overseas tours, former Indian skipper said that management selects their playing XI keeping conditions in mind. He further said, “Chopping and changing overseas is easier. In India, you don't need to chop and changes because you know what the conditions are and for which bowler to play, as opposed to what kind of track you will get. Whether you need a bowler with a bounce or you need a bowler with swing, so that's where the chopping and changing starts.”
Shastri signed off by saying, “Experts are meant to do a job. They can say what they want. It doesn't affect us. They have a job to do, so they are entitled to what they say.”