Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli-led Team India started their ICC World Test Championship campaign with a comprehensive 318-run win over West Indies in the first of the two-match series in Antigua on Sunday (August 25).

The victory was set up by Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihari and skipper Kohli before Jasprit Bumrah’s five-for demolished the Windies line-up in pursuit of 419 on a penultimate day.

While the majority of the Indian fans lauded the team for their phenomenal performance, few of them remained unimpressed and criticized Kohli for dropping middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma from the playing XI.

Rohit was picked in the Test squad after he retained his place following a series of impressive knocks in the 2019 World Cup. However, he was overlooked for Hanuma Vihari, who slammed a career-best 93 in the second innings.

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After the match when Kohli was asked about the team combination, he backed his decision to give a chance to Vihari in the final XI. The Indian skipper said, “Vihari got a nod because the combination is important. He’s an effective part-time bowler and helps us when we need to catch up with the over-rate. We have a group discussion and then we decide what’s best for the team. There will always be opinions about the XI, but people will know that it’s in the interest of the team.”

Kohli also said that when players stand up and perform, his decisions look all the better.

“I am taking decisions, yes, but the execution is done by others who raise their hand. We enjoy everyone’s company, and that’s the reason for our success.

“It’s a blessing that I am in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way, but nothing is possible without your team. I don’t think the credit can be taken away from the team at all,” he added.

The second and final Test of the series will begin from August 30 in Sabina Park, Jamaica.