Cape Town - Skipper Joe Root put the decision to include Adil Rashid in England's first Test XI for the India series down to the number right-handers the visitors have in their batting lineup.
With Shikhar Dhawan not certain to play against England and no other top-order left-handers in the squad barring Rishabh Pant, at Edgbaston Root felt that Moeen Ali's off-spin would be of less use than the legspin of Rashid.
The decision to recall white-ball specialist Rashid to the team has angered some while others see it as a pragmatic tactical solution.
Former England Test skipper Geoffrey Boycott was among those who questioned the commitment of Rashid.
"He should never have been handed a Test recall," insisted Boycott.
"In two years England have gone around in a circle. By picking Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day Championship cricket for Yorkshire because his heart is not in it, but he will play for England in Test matches. Absurd? Yes."
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The skipper though has no issue with Rashid's commitment and backed his county teammate to have an impact against an Indian batting lineup made up almost entirely of right-handed batsmen.
Speaking at the team announcement in Birmingham Root said: “With the amount of right handers in India’s team, Rashid gives us a really attacking spinning option and he’s in confident form.
“He’s gone about his business just as he does in the one-day side, he doesn’t seem affected at all.
“I’ve known Adil for a long time. I think he’s grown as a player massively in the last couple of years, he has a better understanding of what he wants to do.”
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Root hinted that Jos Buttler's elevation to vice-captain has to do with the long-term vision for the leadership of the limited overs sides after Eoin Morgan hangs up his boots.
He said: “Jos is vice-captain of the white-ball side, thinks hugely about the game and is respected in the dressing room.
“We are thinking about the long-term and Jos is a big part of that.”