Well if your opponent opens straight pike ofc you can xbows. I still think ca are better here bc they scale better into imp and match your stable units mobility but that’s not the point.
What I mean is the common situation when your opponent goes xbow vs you and then switches into pikes as Indians usually play light cav or camels vs xbow. Both units have extra pierce armor so you could make an argument for both. Ofc you can also play mango or skirm defense but that doesn’t really play into indians strenghts. And precisely this composition can be a bit tricky to deal with as Indians as archers and pikes is way cheaper than light cav or camels and cav archers. And switching into xbow yourself isn’t a good option in mid castle age.
Anyways these situations are somewhat awkward to play against as Indians because you need more and more expensive tech switches compared to other civs (light cav and camels die super hard to pikes while knights can kinda hold against these until pike numbers get high). This gives your opponent momentum to pressures and the Indian player needs to be super on point with macro and transition timings. It’s doable but it’s quite hard if the game is neck to kneck. That’s all I’m saying and that’s why I think a lot of people do not feel comfortable playing the civ.