India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s longtime coach Pravin Amre, on Friday, slammed Virat Kohli and co deciding to drop his ward for the first Test against South Africa at Cape Town.

Rahane went through a lean patch ahead of the series, and Amre, clearly incensed by the move, urged India to emulate England’s backing of former captain Alastair Cook in the Ashes, “It’s shocking to see him dropped,” Amre said, “Unfair. He was batting well in the nets. This is not like the Ashes where we’re going to play five Test matches. You have to go with your best side,” he added.

Leading up to the series, the Rahane reportedly trained relentlessly on fine-tuning his technique to gear up for the mighty South African pace attack. The 29-year-old sitting out raised eyebrows, considering that he possesses an overseas average of 53.44, “Ajinkya has been a proven performer overseas, particularly in South Africa. We all know he’s really a strong character and I’m sure he’ll take this in his stride. But what’s the message being given to him?”Amre said.

The former India batsman, who is now one of the sought-after coaches in Mumbai’s rich cricketing stables warned against knee-jerk reactions, “One bad performance shouldn’t result in such hard measures. If he’s a vice-captain, it means he’s a key player. Look at how the England team management has backed Cook at the Ashes,” Amre said. “Backing from the team management was crucial.”