There was a massive backlash on social space once Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne got their eye in on the opening day of the World Test Championship at the Oval on Wednesday and controlled proceedings. Plaudits and fans started venting out their anger on the team selection. One felt that veteran spinner Ravi Ashwin was being missed. At the end of the opening day's play, India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey defended the decision taken by the management and said that the selection was purely based on conditions.
"It is always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like him. Looking at the conditions in the morning we thought an additional seamer would be beneficial. It has also worked in the past for us. Seamers have done well out here for us. You can always look back and say that additional spinner would have been beneficial but we took the call looking at the conditions, " Paras Mhambrey said in a post-match press conference.
An optimistic Mhambrey also reckoned that India can still make a comeback against Australia and with the "freshness in the wicket" they can do something.
"Definitely we have an opportunity to make a comeback as there is still seam and cut. In the first hour of tomorrow morning with conditions and freshness in the wicket we can do something," India bowling coach Mhambrey said.
Head and Smith produced an unbroken 251-run fourth-wicket partnership that guided Australia to 327/3 at stumps on Day 1. India would look to break this partnership early on the second day.