The decision to drop Mithali Raj for India’s ICC Women’s World T20 semi-final against England on Friday was taken right before the match and with selector Sudha Shah in the know, according to a report.

The Times of India reported on Saturday that the Indian team management took the decision after watching how the Antigua pitch behaved during the first semi-final between Australia and West Indies earlier on Friday.

On a slow pitch, Australia defeated West Indies by 71 runs. India and England played on the same pitch later that day.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, coach Ramesh Powar and selector Sudha Shah met after the Australia-West Indies match to decide on the Indian playing XI, the report said.

Despite Mithali scoring back-to-back half-centuries against Pakistan and Ireland earlier in the tournament, Kaur, Powar and Shah “discussed the wicket and the coach expressed that the same winning combination against Australia should play,” the newspaper quoted from Indian team manager Trupti Bhattacharya’s report following the selection meeting.

Raj did not play against Australia because of a knee injury but was fit to play against England. However, “Harman and Smriti shared the same view and also told the selector, Sudha Shah, that an extra bowler would help the team,” Bhattacharya’s report said, according to the newspaper. “Sudha Shah agreed to the XI and did not express anything,” it added.

The decision to drop Mithali baffled many on social media, even as India went on to lose the semi-final by eight wickets to exit the tournament.

However, Harmanpreet later said that she has “no regrets” about the decision to drop Raj as it was taken keeping the team’s interests in mind. “Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets. I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament,” Harmanpreet said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Pressed further about the decision in the post-match press conference, Harmanpreet said, “We were going with a winning combination. We did really well against Australia. And that is the reason we just wanted to go with the same combination.”

Raj’s manager Annisha Gupta later took to Twitter to criticise Harmanpreet for the decision, reportedly calling her a “manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain”.