July 12, 2014

Why isn't Ashwin playing?

It's close to inexplicable how India's best spinner is being left out in favour of bits-and-pieces players
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Why would India not pick Ashwin, who can trouble a line-up heavy on left-handers and bowl mystery spin, over a bowler who is at best a third-choice spinner?
Why would India not pick Ashwin, who can trouble a line-up heavy on left-handers and bowl mystery spin, over a bowler who is at best a third-choice spinner? © BCCI

Someone please explain why R Ashwin is now a spectator? For a man who became the fastest Indian to take 100 Test wickets, who averages 40 as a lower-order batsman, and who has time and again fronted up under pressure in many forms, he has been managed dreadfully. Frankly, he would be my fourth automatic pick after MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in this Indian Test team. He is a banker, yet he is being treated like a robber.

It was only natural that after a golden year or so as India's No. 1 Test bowler he would struggle for a period, as he did in a couple of Tests in South Africa in late 2013. Yet, by the 2014 World T20 he was back to his best, his mystery balls coming out with confidence. Throw in his resolute batting and reliable fielding and he is an ideal team man. But he is being treated like a wheelie bin, dumped on the side of the road. Instead, Stuart Binny is deemed the better Test player. Talk about a mystery.

India have a tremendous opportunity to topple this shaky England unit. To do so they need every department covered. Normally, spin would be India's sure thing. No longer is that case if Ravindra Jadeja is deemed your best spinner. It smacks of something extremely odd. Jadeja can bat, often flamboyantly and recklessly, and as a leftie at No. 7 he can do some damage. But his left-arm spin is nothing short of ordinary. At best he is a third-choice spinner in Indian conditions, where three are often needed. In England you just need your one best spinner - something England would kill for - and Ashwin has proven that he should be first choice and should bat at No. 8.

In a day and age where mystery spin is a must, it is astonishing that India don't want the one guy who can provide it. Add to that the point that England have five left-handers in their XI. Absolutely nothing makes sense in his non-selection and believe me it will be the one thing they will rue if and when the series gets away from them. To bank on Binny's bowling is only going to stir Geoffrey Boycott into referring to his grandmother again and again.

India's seam attack looks efficient and varied without needing to add mediocrity to it. It calls on swing from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, seam from Mohammed Shami, and bounce from Ishant Sharma, giving Dhoni options on these flat, lifeless pitches. Next he only needs to pull his head in over his choice of spinner and bring in Ashwin, a man who has won him matches, and the balance of attack will be complete. The only choice India need to make is whether to choose Jadeja or Binny as the extra batsman at No. 7. Their bowling is a rare back-up, the sort of stuff required five minutes before tea, an over or two between overs 78 and 80.

The choice Dhoni must make is between Stuart Binny and Ravindra Jadeja as the No. 7 batsman
The choice Dhoni must make is between Stuart Binny and Ravindra Jadeja as the No. 7 batsman © Getty Images

M Vijay has done some serious work on his balance and footwork since the tour of New Zealand in March. It's an impressive comeback, for he looked lost at sea and on the outer. His first-innings century was a culmination of courage and hard work to get his game back into proper shape. Now, only Shikhar Dhawan needs to do the same and India have a line-up that will serve them well for the medium to long term.

This 42-day Test marathon, another ridiculous scheduling call by Giles Clarke, will not be a classic, but it will come down to moments and decisions. So far England are on the back foot simply due to their denial about what is sensible regarding Alastair Cook. He just needs to focus on finding his feet again. And apart from selecting Jos Buttler they don't have much else to call on to inspire this bunch. They are in a major rebuilding phase and they will do well to snatch any success in the next period. That's why Joe Root is the man to invest in leading this uncooked bird, long term.

India have a massive chance to do what Sri Lanka have just done. Somehow they have been swayed to think a bits-and-pieces player is going to do some damage. In the meantime, Ashwin, with one of the most impressive all-round records in Indian Test history, sits in the corner twiddling his thumbs. A mystery indeed.

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s and early '90s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Ojha & Rohit should be included in place of Binney Jadeja..............Jorden must come in Eng & Moeen should replace Balance

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | July 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Dhoni did the right thing by dropping Ashwin from playing XI. Ashwin - an average Ranji level offie who has done well on crumbling, dusty, spinning tracks of sub-continent by being the lucky one (from CSK ranks) stands completely sorted out now by international batsmen. He was never a match for Bhajji and even now Bhajji is better than him. It was wrong to take Ashwin to England. Hope it is his last foreign tour with the team. Bhajji and Ojha - being more skilled bowlers than Ashwin and Jadeja (India doesn't need their batting skills but bowling skills. We need bowling specialist to man those positions in the team. If the top 6 batsmen will fail what one can expect from a No.7 or No.8 then. Amongst younger offies, Parvez Rasool is certainly few notches better than Ashwin and he bats better than Ashwin too. Look what he did to Aussies here in India with his 7 wickets in a warm up game and whenever he has got the chance he has done reasonably well. Jadeja was never good for Tests anyways

  • POSTED BY CricInd143 on | July 15, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Bth Aswin and Ojha deservse chance.

    @Aswin: Have Played only 4 matches(in 2 series) in overseas .. bowled well in 2 and batted well in 3... this is better than HARBAJAN in early days( I agree.. ashwin never looked as dangarous as harbajan in his best times)

    @ Ojha: He proved in subcontinent.... well deserved for a chance in forgin soil

    @Misra: Yet to prove well in subcontinent while comparing ojha and aswin

    And if pitch not supported for spin definitely my pick will be either ashwin or jadeja ... As because OJHA&MISRA Can't do anything differently

  • POSTED BY sray23 on | July 15, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Martin, you yourself have just answered your own question. Ashwin struggled in overseas conditions and somehow "magically" found form again in the Asia Cup which INCIDENTALLY was played in the subcontinent -- hint hint?? In the subcontinent Ashwin has nothing to prove to anyone. Everyone knows his credentials there. However, everyone also knows that to be a successful OFFspinner overseas is a difficult art - harder to achieve than a legspinner. Many experts have pointed to Ashwin general lack of fitness and they have a point. To be a successful spinner overseas you need to put a lot of body & revs on the ball over & over again, ball after ball. To do it for 20-25 overs a day requires a lot of strength & endurance of the shoulders, abs, hips & legs. Ashwin has not shown this endurance yet and thats why he will continue to struggle overseas. Jadeja has, and that's why he has been more successfu recentlyl than Ashwin overseas.

  • POSTED BY MaksNZ on | July 14, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    Definitely Ashwin can handle more pressure than Jadeja when batting. Also he bats with confidence and has got good shot selection. On the other hand Jadeja even though having 3 triple hundreds in domestic cricket looked very ordinary against Anderson & Co. I can see Ashwin coming in place of Jadeja in the 2nd Test. Also india should try Dhawan for one more game and see if he can contribute. Otherwise they should give a chance to Gambhir, who have loads of experience as well as full of confidence after the IPL win.

  • POSTED BY RB007 on | July 14, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    Given Jadeja's lack of penetration at Trent Bridge and his difficulties in facing Anderson, it miakes sense to include Ashwin in Lords. Stuart Binny had a different role but with the emergence of Bhuvaneswar's batting skills, perhaps he may not be required. Instead India should consider either Pankaj Singh or Aaron as the 4th seamer. If India's seamers have to bowl 100 overs every innings, the workload needs to be divided amongst 4 of them. Stuart bowling 10 overs hardly provides any relief. In a different setting, Stuart may be useful, but for Lords Ashwin and a genuine seamer should come in place of Jadeja and Stuart.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | July 14, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Dhoni's faulty logic is Sri Lanka played a left arm spinner Rangana Hereth & won the test so I should also play Jadeja. Dhoni is not a super thinker in test cricket, he just apes other successful team captains. Dhoni's record in test captaincy is abysmal to say the least, he should be asked to play as a keeper+batsman & Gambhir should be given the captaincy in tests.

    The test playing 11 should be as under. Gambhir Vijay Pujara Kohli Rahane Dhoni Ashwin Jadeja Bhuvi Ishwar Pandey Shami

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 14, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    A good Question, Martin- Why Indeed? My first justification for including Ashwin in the XI is England had 6 LH batsmen in the XI. An off spinner will counter the LH bats. Secondly Ashwin is not just a bowler but one who has reached 100 Wkts. in fastest time in Test Cricket. That needs special skills & need to be exploited- Not Benched! Thirdly, Ashwin is an excellent batsman, who unfortunately has to play #8 in batting. He has scored several 50's & a Test century. Strictly speaking he fulfills the role of an all rounder. His only short coming is he is a bit slow on his feet. I fully understand that on English pitches, spinners have less of a chance of success. But replacing Ashwin with either Jadeja or Binny is not the answer. When England's Bowlers- LH Broad or LH Anderson- can score heavily against India without an off spinners, it begs the question, Why is Ashwin Benched?

  • POSTED BY AbhishekCricfun on | July 14, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Hi,

    Can we bring back Pragyan Ohja as specialist spinner? Your views please..

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | July 14, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    Ashwin as an off spinner doesn't have the confidence to bowl over the wicket. He relies on variations rather than consistency. In the long Test format against batsmen of standing he will always be found wanting and that's how he got shown up in South Africa even on a 5th day wicket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Ojha & Rohit should be included in place of Binney Jadeja..............Jorden must come in Eng & Moeen should replace Balance

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | July 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Dhoni did the right thing by dropping Ashwin from playing XI. Ashwin - an average Ranji level offie who has done well on crumbling, dusty, spinning tracks of sub-continent by being the lucky one (from CSK ranks) stands completely sorted out now by international batsmen. He was never a match for Bhajji and even now Bhajji is better than him. It was wrong to take Ashwin to England. Hope it is his last foreign tour with the team. Bhajji and Ojha - being more skilled bowlers than Ashwin and Jadeja (India doesn't need their batting skills but bowling skills. We need bowling specialist to man those positions in the team. If the top 6 batsmen will fail what one can expect from a No.7 or No.8 then. Amongst younger offies, Parvez Rasool is certainly few notches better than Ashwin and he bats better than Ashwin too. Look what he did to Aussies here in India with his 7 wickets in a warm up game and whenever he has got the chance he has done reasonably well. Jadeja was never good for Tests anyways

  • POSTED BY CricInd143 on | July 15, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Bth Aswin and Ojha deservse chance.

    @Aswin: Have Played only 4 matches(in 2 series) in overseas .. bowled well in 2 and batted well in 3... this is better than HARBAJAN in early days( I agree.. ashwin never looked as dangarous as harbajan in his best times)

    @ Ojha: He proved in subcontinent.... well deserved for a chance in forgin soil

    @Misra: Yet to prove well in subcontinent while comparing ojha and aswin

    And if pitch not supported for spin definitely my pick will be either ashwin or jadeja ... As because OJHA&MISRA Can't do anything differently

  • POSTED BY sray23 on | July 15, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Martin, you yourself have just answered your own question. Ashwin struggled in overseas conditions and somehow "magically" found form again in the Asia Cup which INCIDENTALLY was played in the subcontinent -- hint hint?? In the subcontinent Ashwin has nothing to prove to anyone. Everyone knows his credentials there. However, everyone also knows that to be a successful OFFspinner overseas is a difficult art - harder to achieve than a legspinner. Many experts have pointed to Ashwin general lack of fitness and they have a point. To be a successful spinner overseas you need to put a lot of body & revs on the ball over & over again, ball after ball. To do it for 20-25 overs a day requires a lot of strength & endurance of the shoulders, abs, hips & legs. Ashwin has not shown this endurance yet and thats why he will continue to struggle overseas. Jadeja has, and that's why he has been more successfu recentlyl than Ashwin overseas.

  • POSTED BY MaksNZ on | July 14, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    Definitely Ashwin can handle more pressure than Jadeja when batting. Also he bats with confidence and has got good shot selection. On the other hand Jadeja even though having 3 triple hundreds in domestic cricket looked very ordinary against Anderson & Co. I can see Ashwin coming in place of Jadeja in the 2nd Test. Also india should try Dhawan for one more game and see if he can contribute. Otherwise they should give a chance to Gambhir, who have loads of experience as well as full of confidence after the IPL win.

  • POSTED BY RB007 on | July 14, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    Given Jadeja's lack of penetration at Trent Bridge and his difficulties in facing Anderson, it miakes sense to include Ashwin in Lords. Stuart Binny had a different role but with the emergence of Bhuvaneswar's batting skills, perhaps he may not be required. Instead India should consider either Pankaj Singh or Aaron as the 4th seamer. If India's seamers have to bowl 100 overs every innings, the workload needs to be divided amongst 4 of them. Stuart bowling 10 overs hardly provides any relief. In a different setting, Stuart may be useful, but for Lords Ashwin and a genuine seamer should come in place of Jadeja and Stuart.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | July 14, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Dhoni's faulty logic is Sri Lanka played a left arm spinner Rangana Hereth & won the test so I should also play Jadeja. Dhoni is not a super thinker in test cricket, he just apes other successful team captains. Dhoni's record in test captaincy is abysmal to say the least, he should be asked to play as a keeper+batsman & Gambhir should be given the captaincy in tests.

    The test playing 11 should be as under. Gambhir Vijay Pujara Kohli Rahane Dhoni Ashwin Jadeja Bhuvi Ishwar Pandey Shami

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 14, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    A good Question, Martin- Why Indeed? My first justification for including Ashwin in the XI is England had 6 LH batsmen in the XI. An off spinner will counter the LH bats. Secondly Ashwin is not just a bowler but one who has reached 100 Wkts. in fastest time in Test Cricket. That needs special skills & need to be exploited- Not Benched! Thirdly, Ashwin is an excellent batsman, who unfortunately has to play #8 in batting. He has scored several 50's & a Test century. Strictly speaking he fulfills the role of an all rounder. His only short coming is he is a bit slow on his feet. I fully understand that on English pitches, spinners have less of a chance of success. But replacing Ashwin with either Jadeja or Binny is not the answer. When England's Bowlers- LH Broad or LH Anderson- can score heavily against India without an off spinners, it begs the question, Why is Ashwin Benched?

  • POSTED BY AbhishekCricfun on | July 14, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Hi,

    Can we bring back Pragyan Ohja as specialist spinner? Your views please..

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | July 14, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    Ashwin as an off spinner doesn't have the confidence to bowl over the wicket. He relies on variations rather than consistency. In the long Test format against batsmen of standing he will always be found wanting and that's how he got shown up in South Africa even on a 5th day wicket.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | July 14, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    Totally agree. Shane Watson is (for some unknown reason) a walk in for the Australian team and Ashwin has better figures, so why isnt he? Ashwin is a great player.

    Jadeja has the better batting average, but he has not proven that he can make the step to tests, Ashwin has. As for Binny, handy runs to get the draw but again Ashwin has two centuries in tests...and really when was the last time a medium pace bowler was actually worth their spot?? Who can't bowl medium pace?

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 14, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    Majority of Ashwin's success came at home. He always struggled to get wkts abroad on non-spin friendly pitches. Dhoni knows this too well when Ind were bashed up 2/3 years ago during their 0-8 test match slump when Ashwin failed miserably. But, the real problem was Binny was not a like for like replacement for Ashwin. Ind should have included Mishra for this tour. Eng always had some problems with leg spinners.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | July 13, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    BTW, I wanted to add that it is not fair to call Binny a bits-and-pieces player. On a track that will have seam and swing movement, he can be handful and he is currently batting well and adds balance to the team as a medium-pace swing all-rounder (not very different from a role his father Roger had in the team). I currently think he maybe the best medium pace all-rounder option for India (although Rishi Dhawan is probably very close and knocking hard on the door) and the medium pace all-rounder could be the key player that provides the Indian team with the right balance for India's WC 2015 campaign (whether it is Binny or Dhawan or both).

    Also I just want to point out that Binny has scored more runs in one test than you did in 4 tests even though you were a top order batsman with a lot of potential. So, hold your horses and don't judge him just yet, just like you wouldn't want yourself to be judged after your own first test performance.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    For the second test bring swap Ashwin for Jadeja. Bring in Rohit in place of Shikhar Dhawan. Let Ajinkya Rahane who is an opener, open with Vijay. This will mean Rohit and Vijay can support Ashwin with their part time off spin. Virat and MSD can chip in with a few overs of medium pace.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    Ashwin has played only on 2 overseas series, 3 matches in Aus, 1 in SA. @the_blue_android doesn't know what he is talking about. I wouldn't call his performance in Aus as bad, as he had bowled better than Lyon there, even if he wasn't anywhere as good as he usually bowls in India. It is very early to judge him. Ashwin needs to be given lot of chances overseas for him to get better. Even if Ashwin is ordinary, there is no reason why Jadeja must play ahead of him, as Jadeja himself is ordinary. When the two spinners are equally ordinary abroad, you should see how else could they contribute and Ashwin is clearly the better batsman than Jadeja. I would even go on to say that only Kohli and Pujara are better and consistent batsman than Ashwin in this batting lineup. So Ashwin can simply be picked as a batsman who can bowl a couple dozen overs and maybe get two wickets.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 13, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    After warching the first test match I think this time the england side is short of a good back up bowler for Anderson and Broad.And also my personal suggestion will be Gambhir should replace rahane and should bat at no.3 and change should be Ashwin to replace Jadeja inorder to expose the inexperience left handed batsmen of england with his off spinners

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Why no one talk about ojha ? He and Ashwin bowling together won many matches for India. Ojha should have played 2011 series after he great outing in England county.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | July 13, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    The main reason is that Ashwin while talented has not achieved anywhere close to his potential on overseas tours. He cannot determine whether he should be an attacking bowler or defensive bowler and tries too many things rather than be consistent and patient and sticking to a plan. It is not that he does not have the talent, it is just that he has shown inconsistent use of it in conditions that would not be best suited to spin. He could learn well from how Swann/Murali/Warne/Kumble bowled in English conditions and come up with a plan that satisfies his captain and also gives him a chance to improve his skills and attack when appropriate. I think he will probably get a chance soon in this series potentially as soon as the next Test. Jadeja keeps a consistent line and length and can bowl for a long time. It is unfair to judge Binny on the basis of 1 Test (and he did make 78 today with an iffy LBW).

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | July 13, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    Martin Crowe is perfectly right. Ashwin has not performed well overseas but he is way more capable than Stuart Binny with both bat & ball. Why not drop Shikar Dhwan & ask Ashwin to open the batting (he was a regular opener in his first class days), he can be played as an all rounder. If Ashwin plays as an allrounder India will be going in with 6 bowlers which has more chances of winning tests. Shikar Dhawan anyway is not troubling the scorers so it will be a good idea if Ashwin plays as an opener or push Pujara to open & Ashwin can come in the middle order.

  • POSTED BY pavanmehta91 on | July 13, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    Talking about genuine test spinners for India, Pragyan Ojha also needs a mention. Prolly Ashwin and Ojha should have been selected instead of Binny and Jadeja

  • POSTED BY Aaranya on | July 13, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    It is a simple fact.......Binny is not a test match stuff........even if he scores few runs in second innings, that's the hardcore fact....Ashwin should be playing for his test match batting skills alone....

  • POSTED BY paddles952 on | July 13, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    well said Marty, spot on this time. Go,go,go marty crowe

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | July 13, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Forget about whether Jadeja can bowl or Ashwin can bat , its a fact that Martin Crowe can wrote ( He was also a good enough batsman to force Somerset to drop Viv Richards from the team) .

    Martin's former county Skipper ROEBUCK would be proud of Crowe's purple prose. Crowe is not as great a writer as Roebuck but then who is !

    Cricket needs independent intrepid scribes like Martin , Ian Chapple . CMJ to hold the establishment accountable at a time when special interests and powerful individuals control the game with Commerce and bottom line being the overriding objective.

  • POSTED BY A.Ak on | July 13, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    People dont get it isn't it!. Jadeja is a batman (but yet to prove in test matches) who can bowl. Same with Binny (an average batsman who can bowl a bit). All Martin says is - Ashwin is a bowler who can bat. India missed a spin bowler. People say Ashwin wasn't efficient in overseas?. I m aking, was Jadeja was efficient? (or any other Indian spinner except Kumble?). Ashwin has proved enough to be in the team as a front line spinner.

  • POSTED BY Boycott_Boycott on | July 13, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    People also forget that spinners hunt in packs. Jadeja has definitely benefited from Ashwin at the other end. Maybe the selectors will learn their lesson. Variety has to be complemented with intelligence. Ashwin is intelligent and has lots of variety. Looking at the suggestions it seems to be that one-day/T-20 cricket is a lot on their minds and the bowling shows it. Ashwin will deliver and Jadeja will pick up the wickets. We have to realise, the summer in UK will have made the grounds hard and flight and drift will draw the batsman forward. Keeping it stump to stump will benefit the bowlers and make them play. Only a couple of the opposition batsmen are good at playing spin. The rest of them will hit out against the loose balls or emulate their better batsmen. Therefore patience and tightening up the field and draining the runs scored will work.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | July 13, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    Martin, concern is well taken. However, he is ineffective overseas. Nobody expected this sort of a wicket in England afterall.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    I mean no disrespect, but I don't agree with what Martin has to say in regards to Jadeja. In 54 first class games, he has more than 3300 runs and with an average of 49.30. What's more is that he has three triple centuries. With the ball he he has 180 wickets at 26. In 8 test matches and he a 36 wickets, also at 26 a piece. In regards to the left handers, Jadeja has got 13 left handers out in his short test career, with an average of 20! To top it off, he's arguable the best fielder in world cricket. How can anyone question the fact that he deserves an extended run at test cricket? In fact there is no reason to drop him after those performances. Ashwin and Jadeja have played the same amount of away games, and they both averaged horrible, but in those 4 games, he got 5 left handers out at an average of 15! Taking all variables into consideration, there is absolutely NO reason for Martin to criticize the selection of Jadeja as the main spinner in this match.

  • POSTED BY kalyanbk on | July 13, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    India should consider a genuine bowler like Ishwar Pandey or Pankaj Singh instead of Binny for Lords and replace Jadeja with Ashwin simply because there are more left handers in the English lineup. India need 4 genuine seam bowlers to be effective in Lords and Ashwin is more than capable of delivering 15 overs per innings. They should allow Ashwin to attack and look for wickets and not force him to be defensive. Ashwin is also good enough to bat at No 6 or 7. Gambhir can also be considered instead of Dhawan.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 13, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    I don't think India have used Ashwin right. He should be groomed as a #7 batsmen, behind Dhoni @ #6. This means India have so much flexibility in selecting their 8 to 11. India are at their best when they play 2 spinners, but often overseas, you cant play just 2 pacers. Getting Ashwin up to the task of batting @ #7 from what I have seen is not too big of a task, he is fairly sound defensively. So Ashwin @7, 3 pacers + a spinner.

  • POSTED BY Collegefastbowler on | July 13, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Not only have India left their best spin bowler out, they also left their best pace bowlers out. Yadav and Aaron would have made a potent pace combination on English wickets. In their place we have bits and pieces players. There is always one or two puzzling inclusions in the team and that is often the reason why they are unable to force a win from strong positions because the bowling lacks the edge due to faulty selection policies.

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | July 13, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    Ashwin will play in the XI of all International test teams except probably Pakistan. Binny would not have been even in the 15 of all these teams. But then, Most Indians supported Binny ahead of Ashwin; this is India and this is how we will play our cricket, Mr. Crowe.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 13, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    India needs Ash win to fill the lead spinner gap. Jadeja can always play a supportive role. Hope he is back for the second test. Binny or Jadeja should be picked based on pitch and weather conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Ashwin played THREE TESTS in Australia and ONE TEST IN SOUTH AFRICA last year Is it fair to dub him as a failure Overseas.So research well before Trashing any player Look at Vijay.He did well in South Africa but failed in Newzeland.But now has delivered in both the innings.If a player is to be trashed and dropped after a few failure no player will survive. There is a tendency to mark Ashwin as a Subcontinent bowler.Spinners blossom with age and experience.If oppurtunities are denied India will definitely loose a front line spinner.

  • POSTED BY Maui3 on | July 13, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Ashwin: Good #8 batsman? Yes, very good. Very good bowler? Yes, in the subcontinent. Reliable feilder? Rolling on the floor laughing. You haven't watched him in the field. Have you, Martin?

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    I was extremely surprised by the choice of Binny as the fifth bowling option and watching how this game has progressed, now I am even more surprised. Binny the bowler only delivered 10 overs out of the almost 145 overs sent down by India. That tells me that Dhoni doesn't have much confidence in his abilities with the ball. In which case, whats he in the team for?

    I like the call to have 5 bowling options - its just the choice of personnel which surprises me. Whats helping the balance is the fact that Jadeja can bat a bit too which makes for the flexibility.

    Going forward based on the playing conditions - It should either be 3 seamers and 2 spinners (where Ashwin plays) or 4 seamers and 1 spinner (where Jadeja plays) - Pankaj Sharma has decent potential and should get a go somewhere on this trip.

    P.S. - Playing Ashwin only adds to the batting depth as wel and may well be the safer option to go with - especially given how Eng played Jadeja in this game.

  • POSTED BY satishpops on | July 13, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    Aswhin has played only 4 overseas tests..Wow, do you guys have any idea how successful was kumble or harbhajan in the overseas? How many times we couldnt pick 20 wickets when they were playing? Everybody struggles with the duke ball initially and it will take time to get used to it. Just because he is from the south pls dont be biased. When people like ishanth who refuses to learn be given such a long rope. Ashwin deserves atleast a bit more before being discarded.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Very simple, Martin! He averages 70+ per wicket overseas and is just not the same bowler in alien conditions.

  • POSTED BY kunakrish on | July 13, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    If people said jadeja is better than ashwin here is some stats

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/26421.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;template=results;type=allround http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/234675.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;template=results;type=allround

    Dont tell he need time ,then i will also say the same

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    i say play ashwin as an allrounder and go for the extra fast bowler. kumar has swing , sharma has bounce & shami has seam having a 4th option like yadav or aaron who has an extra yard of paqce couldnt hurtt . because all of those bowlers can bat a bit

  • POSTED BY Criticalthinking on | July 13, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    Nice article by Mr. Martin. Ashwin is technical sound batsmen and thinking bowler. He played just 2 or 3 overseas series. How many fast bowlers from Aus, SA, NZ, Eng took wickets in sub continent wickets ( Except Steyn, Ambrose, Walsh). These fast bowlers are taking wickets only in green wicket, but struggle in Sub-Continent.Then why spin bowlers are so much strangled with critics. Ashwin will is doing good job let him continue. @Gowtham792- We already have jadeja who can bat and bowl as well. Ohja is not that great bowler. @Cricketafficianado - Can you tell, how many spin bowlers(Except Muralidharan) took wickets in abroad @ England, Australia, SA, Newzealand Binny might be more useful for T20s but not for test.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | July 13, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    Arun for Binny and Ashwin for Jadeja seems the best way to win

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    So some people claim Ashwin is rubbish outside India... be that as it may he's on the squad and India should have a spinner in the lineup and there are no other spinners in the squad so it should be him. Jaddu has no wickets, Moeen has 3 does anyone really think Moeen's a better bowler than Ash?

    Honesty, I would have brought Ashwin as the spinning all-rounder another couple spinners (Mishra and Ohja maybe). On spinning tracks India could go 3 pacers and 2 spinners and on fast tracks they could go 4 pacers and 1 spinner. As it is in this match they've essentially gone 3 pacers and 1 spinner as Binny's done nothing and we don't really know if it's a spinning track or not because Jaddu (in my opinion) is not good enough to prove that or not. India's squad is screwed up as they don't have another proper spin option against an England team that's weak vs spin and the English pitches should be relatively spin friendly.

  • POSTED BY IndCricFan2013 on | July 13, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    It is easy to say now that Ashwin would have done better on this pitch. But no one including England expected this kind of patch. Jadeja has done well outside India, hence Ashwin not playing as a spinner was justified in SA, NZ and here. Binny was selected in the team means, he was the one who is going to be if they wanted to play 5th bowler. If not where does he really fit in, Now see going into the 2nd test, Ashwin again may not make sense to pick, may be 4 pace bowlers and Jadeja. Ashwin can be given chances, but can he needs to prove himself, which he has done so far. If this pitch was an usual pitch and if Ashwin was picked plus Jadeja and India getting bowled out below 300, then every one would be asking why India did not pick 4th pacer, so the point is before the start of the match Binny was the choice who was going to be doing 20 overs and 40 runs in each innings. Even Rahul Dravid wrote in cricinfo justifying why Binny was selected for the tour and he is not bits and pieces.

  • POSTED BY rajkirp on | July 13, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    How fickle can we get. Before this test match almost all comments on the Indian team selection was no Aswin and a go ahead for Binny. Of course, whoever commented and opted for Binny over Ashwin did not know how the pitch will behave. Since there has been only one session of good bowling (from India) in the match so far, I wonder if Ashwin could have made a difference? Right now, it would only be speculation. You got to say the pitch is the winner. For batsmen, who did not score it was a lost opportunity to push up their averages.

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | July 13, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Ashwin has to play in the next test for binny and I'd be considering Aaron for shami or sharma to add abit of pace to the attack cos there's no pace from the 3current seamers kumar bowled well sharma tall and gets bounce so I would prob drop shami for Aaron to add pace and ashwin to compliment jadeja as spinners that can bat well down the order and the top six u give another go although I wanna see rohit play at some point in the series cos he's to talented to not to be in the team

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | July 13, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    The question I ask is why Amit Mishra is not playing. Ashwin has been given many opportunites and he has proved to be a failure in overseas conditions. He is a much better bastman than a bowler but India needs a strikie bowler to get 20 wickets not bits and pieces players like Jadeja and Binny. Mishra is not mug with the bat either.

    Why is Jedaja batting like no. 12 cause even no. 11 are playing better than him.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 13, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    The great Martin has correctly assessed the situation. Ashwin is indeed India's best all rounder after Kapil. His batting is more reliable than many Indian batsmen. He has fighting qualities in trying circumstances. But what to do ?. In India there will always be illogical decisions. Bhubaneswar Kumar is the only bowler who can give tough times to English players. He is also under rated. Ishant is being given continuous opportunities for getting pointing bowled once.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Stuart Binny does not have the confidence of MSD. But from a formula perspective he can bat and he can bowl. So he is in. Jadeja can keep things quiet and maybe pick a wicket or two and can bat a bit. So he is in. Ashwin did not win the matches for us in SA - so he is out. If he does not get 8 wickets per game overseas, then we prefer the all rounders. Ashwin has 40+ in batting. That does not matter. We have better all rounders. It is MSDs defensive thinking of Jadeja being difficult to score of which is the root issue. Pankaj Singh and Iswar Pandey are in the ranks as well. Both are better than Binny. Frankly India should play Ashwin instead of Jadeja and Pankaj Singh or Pandey instead of Binny. Ishwar Pandey is reasonably quick and Pankaj Singh will get wickets. Please let sense prevail.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | July 13, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Martin, have you looked at Ashwin's stats paying anywhere outside of India? They are eye-wateringly bad. Ashwin's just not any good playing away from home. In fact, I'd say India have wasted a sot even bringing him on this tour. Send him home, and put Ojha on a plane to England

  • POSTED BY zoot on | July 13, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    I couldn't agree more. If Binny's only going to get a few overs India are better off picking Ashwin who can bowl long spells to keep the seamers fresher. Five tests in forty-two days is a gruelling schedule.

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | July 13, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I agree with Martin, why isn't he playing in this game. You don't win test matches with bits and pieces players, get in Ashwin in place of Stuart Binny.

  • POSTED BY amp707 on | July 12, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    I agree Ashwin should have played. Binny is a good bits and pieces player but not a test material. Ashwin should have played instead of him. I get an impression that Dhoni felt pitch would help medium pacers and hence the choice. In all probability he will go for Ashwin in the next game. I like Dhoni. I won't be too critical about him. He goes by instincts, which works sometimes and doesn't at other times.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    It is now catch 22 situation for MSD. If he drops STR then there will be a cry that Binny should be given a long run. But more often than not Indian all rounders have tend to be more batsman than bolwer. They cannot be counted fully as bowlers who can bowl decent 10 or 12 overs a day if needed. And if they fail in their batting then they become a liability and selector and captain are questioned. An all rounder of the mould of Kallis is a distant dream.

  • POSTED BY Jonathan_E on | July 12, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Ashwin is both a better batsman and better bowler than either Binny or Jadeja.

    Jadeja is a better batsman and better bowler than Binny.

    Frankly, Ashwin is a better bowler, even as a spinner on a pitch offering nothing to spinners, than Binny as a seamer on the same pitch.

  • POSTED BY CricketpunditUSA on | July 12, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    Martin-- Zonal based decision Martin. You can't have Murali and Ashwin on the same team since they hail from Chennai. If it is Mumbai or B'Lore, then you can have 5 players representing with a couple of all time greats and 1 or two mediocre cricketers. That's how the Indian politics work. Also, it helps if your father is Roger Binny and he is heading the selection committee. Ashwin did have two very bad tests in SA. Ravi stepped in a rank turner in Durban and picked 6 of his 7 overseas wickets. Binny is a selection based on Roger Binny being the selection committee chairman. They should have gone for Pankaj Singh if they chose Ravi Jadega. That would have made more sense for Ashwin's omission. Things are a lot better now but still these zonal selection and politics matter a lot. Guys like Murali Vijay and Ashwin wouldn't even exist if not for Srinivasan's existence! That's also the truth.

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | July 12, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Binny was picked based on form. He did well in the warm up matches as well as in Bangladesh. However, Ashwin should have been in and not Jadeja. I also wonder why India doesn't pick Amit Mishra or Pragyan Ojha as the main spinner if they feel that Ashwin is not doing well.

  • POSTED BY Rajeshj on | July 12, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    @Cricketafficianado and @RahulFantasyCricket: Have you guys checked the overseas record of both Ashwin and Jadeja.. Both have played 4 tests with 7 wickets to show... This in spite of the fact that Jadeja took 6 wickets on a juicy Durban pitch and almost nothing in remaining 3 tests.. Ashwin played all 4 tests in lifeless, non-spinning pitches and still managed 7 wickets... there lies the difference between a classic spinner and bits and pieces spinner.. Whether you guys agree or not, Ashwin is a better All-Rounder than Jadeja... And please don't call Jadeja an all-rounder at Test level... He has not yet scored a fifty in 8 tests.. Jadeja is just suited for one-days or 20-20s and as third spinner in Indian tests, if required.. Martin Crowe is spot-on in his assessments..

  • POSTED BY Rajeshj on | July 12, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Cricket is a North-dominated sport in India and it clearly shows on ridiculous comments posted by many in justifying Jadeja's inclusion ahead of Ashwin... Jadeja has played 8 tests and still has no half-century to his name.. Ashwin has scored 2 hundreds and 3 fifties and mind you one of those fifties was a 97 (not out) against Australia in Australia.. Jadeja is a flashy, flambuoyant shots, but does not play proper cricketing shots always in a test match.. With all these stats, I don't think Jadeja would be rated as an all-rounder at Test-level in any country.. And above all, both Ashwin and Jadeja have played 4 overseas tests with 7 wickets to show.. This in spite of the fact that Jadeja played tests in 2 matches where spinners have won matches.. And why so much noise about Binny.. How can he be rated as useless based on 1 test match.. I don't think Rohit would have scored differently than Binny on this pitch.. Ashwin and Binny are targeted only because they are from South...

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Ashwin as a spinner has been miserable overseas be it Australia, South Africa or New Zeland and Jadeja simply doesnt qualify as a frontline spinner. Ashwin however is the best person to play at 7 as the all rounder. Binny is just no where. In India best seam bowling batting allrounder is Laxmi Shukla from Bengal but he is not in the side. With the resources available I would play Ashwin and Pankaj Singh in place of Jadeja and Binny.

  • POSTED BY Aravindakshan on | July 12, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @the_blue_android. Every country? really? One bad match in SA and an indifferent tour of AUS ( 9 wickets in 3 matches) is all he has to show in overseas conditions. No matches in ENG or NZ. Still, Binny is not international material, let alone test. If the first match was at old trafford or at southampton, may be trying binny ahead of ashwin could make a bit of a sense. Notts looks almost like a SC pitch. The only reason i could think for his exclusion is that Dhoni doesn't trust him as much as he used to do 6 months back. And jadeja outbowling Ashwin means nothing in SC. Ashwin is the best bowler in india for 3 years running.

  • POSTED BY Selfishkar on | July 12, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Until this test Murali Vijay's place was too under threat. Is it just coincidence that both Ashwin and Murali are from south in a team dominated by north Indians?

  • POSTED BY CRICMOT on | July 12, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    I beg to differ with author. Binny was included in the XI because, the team management went by the perception that normal Trent Bridge pitch offers a decent carry and swing. Binny is a kind of bowler who bowls 120 kmph and adds a bit of swing to them. This kind of bowling comes handy in normal overcast conditions with a bit of greenish tinge on the surface. Obviously team management hasn't read the pitch correctly If they had ,they would have gone with Ashwin in place of Binny. And moreover, he was given as few as 6 overs, its unfair to judge him on that basis. Jadeja preferred over Ashwin in overseas is an obvious choice. Stats proved it. In Indian conditions too, Jadeja is not far behind Ashwin, Ashwin is slightly a better bowler than Jadeja on rank turners. Ashwin's inclination of trying too many variations usually backfires on him when the conditions are not suited to spin bowling where as Jadeja's persistent line and length rewarded him with a couple of wickets on occasions

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 12, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    I agree with Martin on Ashwin issue. But having said that MSD hasnt handled Binny well at all who is picked as Ashwins replacement. It is obvious for anyone to feel the pressure in his 1st test. But somehow you get the feeling that Binny lacks his captains confidence. I doubt anybody can force MSD to select someone whom he doesnt want in the XI. Hence having picked Binny MSD could have bowled him morethe only way to provide bit of confidence to the youngster. Thank god it is a 5 match test series and teams will have ample opportunity to way in the oppositions and get the own team balance right.

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | July 12, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    I disagree. It was very much a sound decision to pick Jadeja over Ashwin. Here's why: 1. Jadeja out-bowled Ashwin in the warm ups. Indicating he has adjusted to conditions a lot quicker than Ashwin has. 2. Ashwin's overseas record is woeful because the guy is completely devoid of patience. No one doubts ability, everyone doubts patience. 3. Jadeja's batting is supposed to compensate the bold move of picking Binny at #7. Though in this case Ashwin might have been just as good. 4. If Ashwin is made to fear his spot in the lineup, he will go back to basics, which is what is needed. 5. I dont think Ashwin will be a spectator for the entire series, he will get a game when he has shows the need to be patient and choose accuracy over variations.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | July 12, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Hope the management and the selectors read your article. There should be some mechanism to over rule the captain, when his selection of XI defy all logic.

  • POSTED BY Cric__Dude on | July 12, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Guys, why are you criticizing Binny. He bowled just 6 overs. 3 of them were very good. I have watched all 3 days ball by ball. His batting misfired, yes. When Dhoni got out, he thought tailenders might not last and he went for scoring fast. This is not a spinning track to have 2 spinners. It is a dead wkt. Ashwin should replace Jadeja if at all. You give Rohit more than 100 ODIs and Ishanth more than 50 tests to prove. Yet you decide Binny's value by 5 overs and 1 innings. Great. The playing 11 is perfect (maybe Ashwin instead of Jadeja). But Dhoni's captaincy and lack of quality pace is hurting. The 3 pacers were not really menacing. There were few good balls which got wickets and few decisions went our way.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Agree on Martin's view that bits n pieces cricketers shouldn't be picked.. But not sure Ashwin's the right choice.. But in the current squad, with binny bowling just 5 overs, Ashwin should have been picked over him... He's a better batsman & better bowler than Binny anyday, though his overseas record isn't that great..

  • POSTED BY Sameer-hbk on | July 12, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    It is obvious Dhoni likes "bits-and-pieces player" over specialists and while it has served him well in ODIs and T20s, he is just not good enough to lead test sides. Negativity of a captain shows as much in team selection as it does on on-field strategy and Dhoni thinks its better to have 8 ordinary batsmen and 6 decent bowlers than just 6 specialist batsman and 4 specialist bowlers. His first thought seems to be "what if the first 5 fail?" so he wants his 6,7 and 8 to bat as well in a decent fashion. Just defensive by nature.

    Having said that, I wonder which overseas performance of Ashwin has inspired this vote of confidence from Mr. Crowe? Not sure if he would have made any difference at all. I am assuming he feels you can't do worse than Binny at the moment...

  • POSTED BY RahulFantasyCricket on | July 12, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Putting in Ashwin ahead of Jadeja is downright ridiculous. Jadeja is an all-round talent who has the ability to change the match with the bat and in the field. His bowling is consistent and he can tie up one end making it easier for Dhoni to rotate his pace bowlers. Ashwin, meanwhile, can only field in the slips and with the likes of Rahane, Vijay, Dhawan, etc. he may become a liability in the field. His batting is consistent in Indian conditions but can he cope with swinging ball? And lastly his bowling is too experimental. As labelled by Crowe, Ashwin is a "mystery spinner" but if he keeps trying a different ball, he will get punished in the Test Arena.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | July 12, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Ashwin can even captain the Indian test team after Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    There is one thing to be noted.. Ashwin has all the flair to be the lead of the spin attack.. But he has the habit of trying a lot and also bowling to the legs of left handed batsman.. He s getting slog sweeped or paddled for runs.. Tthat makes Dhoni to go defensive.. Whereas Jadeja keeps it tight and hence the pressure builds up.. Jadeja is not sloppy as ashwin in the field.. Ashwin needs to bowl better clusters outside off and must look lik taking wickets.. Or else he wont be considered for overseas tests.. And binny was taken as ppl thot Nottingham would offer assistance to pace.. and it did in the 3rd day fr indians.. Nothing wrng wd the selection.. Lets see if Ashwin can get opp in Lords.. Hopeully he will..

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    I agree, Martin. Ashwin has been given a raw deal by MS. He rates Jadeja as a better batsman. I personally think both Jadeja and Ashwin should always play for India, no matter which country.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | July 12, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    Well said, Martin. You have the courage to say the obvious.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | July 12, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Well .. though Ashwin has not bowled to expectations overseas, that is simply because of the high-standards that he has set for himself in home conditions ... also, he has been confined to holding one-end job rather than to attack overseas ... he will definitely come into the scheme sooner than later ... but picking Jadeja over him is not an absurd idea ... also trying Binny in English conditions is not a blunder ... this 5-bowler strategy itself has taken such a long time to adopt for India ... let us wait

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    The wrong move was leaving out Ashwin who besides outdoing the famed quartet of BEDI & Co in terms of being the fastest 100 test wickets taken by an Indian . He can walk into the Indian team on his batting ability alone. His test figures speak for themselves. His overall test record, performance is very good as a batsman or as a bowler.

    Even ICC test ratings have anointed him for once ( not too long ago) as the best allrounder in the world. He could have been in place of either Shikhar Dhawan or Stuart Binny.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 12, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    You are right, Martin. Somehow Fletcher's and Dhoni's thinking got skewed by the history and stats that they'd have considered before this Test at Trent Bridge. Above all, they'd have had a joint recollection of events in 2011, a match Eng. won by 319. Harbhajan took 1 wicket out of 20 and bowled 13.4 overs in all; Swann bowled 15 barren overs in the match (for 97). Broad, Anderson and Bresnan cleaned up all 20 wickets between them. In other words, India's Think Tank fell into the trap that nearly all generals have made though history -- believing what they wanted to believe -- that the next battle on the same terrain was going to duplicate the last encounter. And as we all know, this track is, as Bumble called it, a rice-pudding skin. It offers the quick bowlers little more than 'toil, tears and sweat.' (Let's hope that there's no blood!). Of course Ashwin should have played; he could - probably would - have delivered an Indian victory in this match. So much for generals!

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Big fan of you Marty,but I just don't think you have seen Ashwin bowl in overseas conditions. He has failed in every country outside of India and will continue to do so. Jadeja is a lot more accurate bowler. Even in Indian conditions, Jadeja has outbowled Ashwin many times.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Impressive article Martin ! Totally agreed to you on this. He should have been the one wearing whites. Binny shouldn't have been playing really, at least on this track. I think external pressure got the better of Dhoni, in this case.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Right on the money Martin. Ashwin is both a better batsman and bowler than someone like Binny. In fact, just as a test batsman he could leave many top order batsmen embarrassed with his silky shots. The 5 odd overs of medium pace back up that Binny provides can always be provided by Virat. Why even Dhoni himself can roll his arm over if need be as he has done in the past. He is in fact as quick, if not quicker than both Binny and Bhuvi !!!

  • POSTED BY Biophysicist on | July 12, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Well said, Martin! Even as a batsman, I would think Ashwin would rate better than Stuart Binny.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    With all due respect to Martin Crowe :

    I may not have played the game at any level or have international experience. But as an ardent fan and follower of the game. What india have done is, try stuart binny is english conditions, unfortunately the pitch has not been to the english standards and more of a sub continent wicket.

    Jadeja is a more accurate bowler and does not try different things. As a spinner in these conditions thats must.Ashiwn tries too many things rather than sticking to the stock ball and use his variations.

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | July 12, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Very sensible piece of writing. Roger Binny's success in these conditions 3 decades back perhaps made the selectors believe that Stuart Binny can emulate those deeds .

  • POSTED BY gowtham792 on | July 12, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Why isn't Pragyan Ojha playing? The best spinner in India.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY gowtham792 on | July 12, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Why isn't Pragyan Ojha playing? The best spinner in India.

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | July 12, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Very sensible piece of writing. Roger Binny's success in these conditions 3 decades back perhaps made the selectors believe that Stuart Binny can emulate those deeds .

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    With all due respect to Martin Crowe :

    I may not have played the game at any level or have international experience. But as an ardent fan and follower of the game. What india have done is, try stuart binny is english conditions, unfortunately the pitch has not been to the english standards and more of a sub continent wicket.

    Jadeja is a more accurate bowler and does not try different things. As a spinner in these conditions thats must.Ashiwn tries too many things rather than sticking to the stock ball and use his variations.

  • POSTED BY Biophysicist on | July 12, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Well said, Martin! Even as a batsman, I would think Ashwin would rate better than Stuart Binny.

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Right on the money Martin. Ashwin is both a better batsman and bowler than someone like Binny. In fact, just as a test batsman he could leave many top order batsmen embarrassed with his silky shots. The 5 odd overs of medium pace back up that Binny provides can always be provided by Virat. Why even Dhoni himself can roll his arm over if need be as he has done in the past. He is in fact as quick, if not quicker than both Binny and Bhuvi !!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Impressive article Martin ! Totally agreed to you on this. He should have been the one wearing whites. Binny shouldn't have been playing really, at least on this track. I think external pressure got the better of Dhoni, in this case.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Big fan of you Marty,but I just don't think you have seen Ashwin bowl in overseas conditions. He has failed in every country outside of India and will continue to do so. Jadeja is a lot more accurate bowler. Even in Indian conditions, Jadeja has outbowled Ashwin many times.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 12, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    You are right, Martin. Somehow Fletcher's and Dhoni's thinking got skewed by the history and stats that they'd have considered before this Test at Trent Bridge. Above all, they'd have had a joint recollection of events in 2011, a match Eng. won by 319. Harbhajan took 1 wicket out of 20 and bowled 13.4 overs in all; Swann bowled 15 barren overs in the match (for 97). Broad, Anderson and Bresnan cleaned up all 20 wickets between them. In other words, India's Think Tank fell into the trap that nearly all generals have made though history -- believing what they wanted to believe -- that the next battle on the same terrain was going to duplicate the last encounter. And as we all know, this track is, as Bumble called it, a rice-pudding skin. It offers the quick bowlers little more than 'toil, tears and sweat.' (Let's hope that there's no blood!). Of course Ashwin should have played; he could - probably would - have delivered an Indian victory in this match. So much for generals!

  • POSTED BY on | July 12, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    The wrong move was leaving out Ashwin who besides outdoing the famed quartet of BEDI & Co in terms of being the fastest 100 test wickets taken by an Indian . He can walk into the Indian team on his batting ability alone. His test figures speak for themselves. His overall test record, performance is very good as a batsman or as a bowler.

    Even ICC test ratings have anointed him for once ( not too long ago) as the best allrounder in the world. He could have been in place of either Shikhar Dhawan or Stuart Binny.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | July 12, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Well .. though Ashwin has not bowled to expectations overseas, that is simply because of the high-standards that he has set for himself in home conditions ... also, he has been confined to holding one-end job rather than to attack overseas ... he will definitely come into the scheme sooner than later ... but picking Jadeja over him is not an absurd idea ... also trying Binny in English conditions is not a blunder ... this 5-bowler strategy itself has taken such a long time to adopt for India ... let us wait