August 2, 2014

Have India missed the boat?

They made a wrong move by refusing to pick Ashwin; Kohli and Pujara have not come good; and Jadeja has only flattered to deceive
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And so the moment was lost. In the instant when Ishant Sharma was ruled out in Southampton, Ravi Ashwin had to be reinstated. In what could haunt MS Dhoni for the rest of this series, he instead chose another rookie, Pankaj Singh. In that moment he totally went against the book.

Extraordinary really, especially when you consider the state of the pitch over the five days - dry underneath, perfect for spin later. Ashwin's experience needed to replace Ishant Sharma's, let alone his proven wicket-taking skill. I fell over when I heard a debutant was in, and a sarcastic tweet followed.

No, this is not a take from the book of hindsight, this has been a consistent theme throughout. In the book of winning Tests, you must always pick your four best-quality bowlers. At Lord's, India got away with selecting only three, and magnificently, Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant made up for repeated selection shortcomings.

From day one of this series, the exclusion of Ashwin has been absolutely mind-blowing. If the inclusion of Stuart Binny was fraught, then the more I think of it the fixation with Ravi Jadeja has been the worst of all. Not only is Jadeja a loose cannon with the bat, he is the complete opposite with the ball: defensive, negative, lacking in skill. Throw in his altercation with James Anderson and the catch he dropped off Alastair Cook. That straightforward drop could well be the turning point of this series, of Cook's career, and it should spell the end of the bits-and-pieces one-day cricketer that Jadeja ultimately is. There is no doubt his 68 at Lord's took the match away from England but if we are honest, it was a lucky, often flukey, display. In a nutshell, he lacks Test match temperament.

I have already waxed lyrical about Ashwin previously. As I said then, and I will repeat, India will rue his exclusion more than any other mistake they have made on this tour. And while Dhoni's stubborn defence of his choice is a given, the team that can play by the book will take out this close battle. With what has happened this week involving the Indian captain, following a lot of good work at Lord's, it is clear he has, strangely, started reading from the wrong script.

Surprisingly, Virat Kohli has struggled to post anything significant. He is close, simply because he is that good, but England have had him nicely in their sights with their mode of attack, and his inexperience on those shores has shown. Man, will future England bowlers pay for this pain he has endured.

Cheteshwar Pujara too has faltered, and this is not a surprise given it is impossible to maintain the glorious start he had. Once he clears the second-year blues and goes back to playing straighter, he will be the wall whose shoes he has been chosen to fill. India had their chance to move this series forward with England on their knees, and Dhoni, Kohli and Pujara missed the boat in Southampton.

Peter Moores should take a bow for his cool assessment between Tests in regard to his senior players. His call to shed the responsibility tag and go out and express oneself as if it's a first Test was smart, and shows how a coach can make a difference at the appropriate time. Duncan Fletcher will need to have similar words to his men en route to Manchester.

England can thank Gary Ballance for his steadfast calm. While Cook played nervously on day one, Ballance provided the backbone that Cook and Bell could use to finally break their bleak spell. The Zimbabwean is a good 'un. Mentally clear, organised and hungry, he could not have come into such form or position at a better time - in the nick of time, with England's senior top order either burnt out or cooked. Ballance was the one who provided the superglue for a team on the brink of collapse.

On the subject of collapse, it is alarming to see this Anderson-Jadeja spat having escalated to the point it did, but thankfully it has been thrown out for a lack of evidence and a lot of classroom hearsay. It's pathetic on many levels. Firstly, Anderson has been guilty of this crass sledging-type behaviour before and needs to pull his head in fast. If Cook and Moores can't see that then they will lose him long term; surely any more incidents will result in removal one way or the other. Clearly Anderson needs help in this area.

Secondly, Dhoni has taken it too far in the way in which he decided to bag the match referee, David Boon, over the Jadeja ruling. Is Dhoni too, like Anderson, becoming a law unto himself? Talk about living in glass houses.

The game at present, with so much of the stench of match-fixing hovering in the air, does not need this kind of behaviour. Anderson and Dhoni need a holiday, which they won't get thanks to this mad scheduling. They are not serving the game as they should, given their long standing. Let the skills you are privileged to display tell the story, inspiring many, not the commentary that follows. Plenty of time for yapping when the body can speak no more.

This series could well come down to these two bodies, as you might expect. Anderson may have survived the silly inquest, and therefore England are in a strong position, with the shift of momentum now obvious on and off the field. Or it might yet come down to whether Dhoni has the notion to ask Ashwin to drop the crime novel he is devouring and get out there and win a Test match again. Before the last chapter is read.

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

  • on August 5, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    I agree with all that Martin Crowe says in this article except one. "Secondly, Dhoni has taken it too far in the way ... Is Dhoni too, like Anderson, becoming a law unto himself? Talk about living in glass houses." Surprised that Crowe has not a word to speak about Boon's verdict in the aftermath what has been judged by someone else as virtually a non-issue in the light of lack of independent evidence. Is it wrong to call a spade a spade, even if it is how one sees a showel? How is Crowe so ready to jump to conclusion that Dhoni is overdoing it? Just because there is a lack of evidence from third parties, does it mean Dhoni cannot be right? He MAY be right but there may be complete lack of evidence. Facts are independent of proofs. I am not saying Dhoni IS right. Just that Crowe needs to be more balanced and accept Dhoni might have a point. The past records of Anderson and Dhoni, will indicate who has infringed the rules more frequently. Not conclusive but probably who may be cleaner.

  • Mittaraghava on August 5, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Ian chappel,M.Crowe and now Strauss have spoken loudly that Aswin should be have been includedd in the 3rd test itself.has it reached the Indian team selectors and Dhoni?Straus stresses the point that India cannot win without 5 bowlers and i am of the same opinion.Better late then never.

  • kmpm on August 4, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Please find a new spinner possibly a leggie who can zip it through the wrists (not just roller). Neither Jadeja nor Ashwin can lead our spin attack. Having said that, living at the moment, Ashwin should be given a try just to feel better or to make english feel different.

  • thinkgood on August 4, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    There are many reasons I can think of not opting for R Aswin in these 3 tests: 1. Ashwin got a long rope with selectors. First you need to test those with shorter ropes such as Binny and Pankaj. 2. Ashwin is a slow starter and needs pitch suitable for his bowling. It cant be flat, it cant be green and it cant be the one that lacks bounce. 3. Dhoni is more of a "i will give you what you want but deliver what I want' type of captain. Ashwin has failed many times in the past (esp. at Mumbai a rank turning pitch in 2011). 4. Ashwin is not yet a spinner of world class like Ajmal or Murali or even Bhajji as yet. He is more of an Indian spinner suited to Indian conditions. 5. Ashwin's control of the ball is questionable. Many times he delivers loose balls and wides with errand lines and length. 6. Ashwin needs to be tougher mentally for overseas conditions. I doubt he is yet.

  • GMNorm on August 4, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Mr Crowe, MS Dhoni is likely to be an enthusiastic advocate of Ashwin being a part of the same franchise. However the fact that he not playing him suggests a lack of confidence in his wicket taking ability.A cursory glance at his away record suggests this lack of confidence is justified. Perhaps India s better off selecting a spinner who can actually turn the ball even if it means a four ball now and then a la Moeen

  • whirlaway on August 4, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    It may be worth trying Ashwin here since India has really run out of options with one bowler injured (Sharma) and another one limping (Kumar) and yet another bowler with 5 wickets at 70+ average so far (Shami).

    However, keep in mind that even when Ashwin bowled against England IN INDIA, he was not that big a success - 14 wickets in 4 matches at nearly 53 runs per wicket. Figures like 1 for 111, 2 for 145 and 3 for 183 are more likely indicative of tired batsmen gifting their wickets rather than the bowler's abilities.

    Ashwin's only decent figures against England are 3 for 80 in his very first match against them. Then there's 2 for 31 (when England were chasing a target of 41 runs).

    So, I think Ashwin should be brought into the team but one should not have very high hopes for him to perform well.

  • on August 4, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Ashwin is an over-rated bowler. He needs favorable conditions to be successful. I haven't played cricket at the highest level, but I do have an instinct which is usually correct. I don't see Ashwin making any sort of impact. Hope he proves me wrong if he is selected!

  • ladycricfan on August 4, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    If you select the right team, play hard and then winning or losing does not matter. But if you don't select the right team then you will have to answer your critics. Dhoni's selection of players at the moment is very puzzling. If you leave the best all rounder and the best mystery spinner in India on the bench, you are only reducing your chances of winning.

  • rhome on August 4, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Spot on Mr. Crowe! The same case with Aaron. India has got very few "genuinely quick" bowlers and he too is warming the bench. Let him get a taste of a spicy wicket and let him fail even if he does. He is a much better investment for the future of India

  • nachami on August 4, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Dhoni dropped Ashwin after one failure in South Africa and brought Jadeja in a spin friendly track where Jadeja took wickets. Dhoni will NEVER PICK ASHWIN in England as Ashwin is likely to take wicket. If Dhoni is fair, why he DID NOT DROP JADEJA AFTER HIS MISERABLE PERFORMANCE IN FIRST TEST MATCH IN ENGLAND and pick Ashwin.. He had done that to Ashwin in South Africa. Dhoni will support Jadeja for ever. Good luck Dhoni and Jadeja.

  • on August 5, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    I agree with all that Martin Crowe says in this article except one. "Secondly, Dhoni has taken it too far in the way ... Is Dhoni too, like Anderson, becoming a law unto himself? Talk about living in glass houses." Surprised that Crowe has not a word to speak about Boon's verdict in the aftermath what has been judged by someone else as virtually a non-issue in the light of lack of independent evidence. Is it wrong to call a spade a spade, even if it is how one sees a showel? How is Crowe so ready to jump to conclusion that Dhoni is overdoing it? Just because there is a lack of evidence from third parties, does it mean Dhoni cannot be right? He MAY be right but there may be complete lack of evidence. Facts are independent of proofs. I am not saying Dhoni IS right. Just that Crowe needs to be more balanced and accept Dhoni might have a point. The past records of Anderson and Dhoni, will indicate who has infringed the rules more frequently. Not conclusive but probably who may be cleaner.

  • Mittaraghava on August 5, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Ian chappel,M.Crowe and now Strauss have spoken loudly that Aswin should be have been includedd in the 3rd test itself.has it reached the Indian team selectors and Dhoni?Straus stresses the point that India cannot win without 5 bowlers and i am of the same opinion.Better late then never.

  • kmpm on August 4, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Please find a new spinner possibly a leggie who can zip it through the wrists (not just roller). Neither Jadeja nor Ashwin can lead our spin attack. Having said that, living at the moment, Ashwin should be given a try just to feel better or to make english feel different.

  • thinkgood on August 4, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    There are many reasons I can think of not opting for R Aswin in these 3 tests: 1. Ashwin got a long rope with selectors. First you need to test those with shorter ropes such as Binny and Pankaj. 2. Ashwin is a slow starter and needs pitch suitable for his bowling. It cant be flat, it cant be green and it cant be the one that lacks bounce. 3. Dhoni is more of a "i will give you what you want but deliver what I want' type of captain. Ashwin has failed many times in the past (esp. at Mumbai a rank turning pitch in 2011). 4. Ashwin is not yet a spinner of world class like Ajmal or Murali or even Bhajji as yet. He is more of an Indian spinner suited to Indian conditions. 5. Ashwin's control of the ball is questionable. Many times he delivers loose balls and wides with errand lines and length. 6. Ashwin needs to be tougher mentally for overseas conditions. I doubt he is yet.

  • GMNorm on August 4, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Mr Crowe, MS Dhoni is likely to be an enthusiastic advocate of Ashwin being a part of the same franchise. However the fact that he not playing him suggests a lack of confidence in his wicket taking ability.A cursory glance at his away record suggests this lack of confidence is justified. Perhaps India s better off selecting a spinner who can actually turn the ball even if it means a four ball now and then a la Moeen

  • whirlaway on August 4, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    It may be worth trying Ashwin here since India has really run out of options with one bowler injured (Sharma) and another one limping (Kumar) and yet another bowler with 5 wickets at 70+ average so far (Shami).

    However, keep in mind that even when Ashwin bowled against England IN INDIA, he was not that big a success - 14 wickets in 4 matches at nearly 53 runs per wicket. Figures like 1 for 111, 2 for 145 and 3 for 183 are more likely indicative of tired batsmen gifting their wickets rather than the bowler's abilities.

    Ashwin's only decent figures against England are 3 for 80 in his very first match against them. Then there's 2 for 31 (when England were chasing a target of 41 runs).

    So, I think Ashwin should be brought into the team but one should not have very high hopes for him to perform well.

  • on August 4, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Ashwin is an over-rated bowler. He needs favorable conditions to be successful. I haven't played cricket at the highest level, but I do have an instinct which is usually correct. I don't see Ashwin making any sort of impact. Hope he proves me wrong if he is selected!

  • ladycricfan on August 4, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    If you select the right team, play hard and then winning or losing does not matter. But if you don't select the right team then you will have to answer your critics. Dhoni's selection of players at the moment is very puzzling. If you leave the best all rounder and the best mystery spinner in India on the bench, you are only reducing your chances of winning.

  • rhome on August 4, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Spot on Mr. Crowe! The same case with Aaron. India has got very few "genuinely quick" bowlers and he too is warming the bench. Let him get a taste of a spicy wicket and let him fail even if he does. He is a much better investment for the future of India

  • nachami on August 4, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Dhoni dropped Ashwin after one failure in South Africa and brought Jadeja in a spin friendly track where Jadeja took wickets. Dhoni will NEVER PICK ASHWIN in England as Ashwin is likely to take wicket. If Dhoni is fair, why he DID NOT DROP JADEJA AFTER HIS MISERABLE PERFORMANCE IN FIRST TEST MATCH IN ENGLAND and pick Ashwin.. He had done that to Ashwin in South Africa. Dhoni will support Jadeja for ever. Good luck Dhoni and Jadeja.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on August 4, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    To all those who have been saying "Ashwin's record outside SC isn't great" -- let's look @ India's most successful bowler Kumble's record outside SC Eng -- 42, Aus --38, NZ -- 41, Pak -- 43, SA --32...So, basically he has struggled everywhere except SA!!!! Ashwin has played only 4 matches outside SC(3 in Aus & 1 in SA)...Even the great Muruli's avg in AUS is 75 & Ashwin averages 62....In fact Ashwin has done really well in ODI's in Eng...I would pick Ashwin over Jaddu any day of the week!!!

  • sammysam on August 4, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    bring in the hungry india A team to play the 2 remaining matches.

  • TRAM on August 3, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    So laughable when people talk about Ashwin's away-performance. Is there a single batsman or bowler from India who can be categorized as a good away-player for India?? Dont quote one off performances. Show me ONE player from India who was consistently successful in/Eng/SA/NZ pitches.

  • Mittaraghava on August 3, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    I agree with M.Crowe ,that it was mindblowing to see Aswin not selected in the 2nd test and more so in the 3rd test.Many experts including Ian Chappel said the same .I am intrigued by Dhoni's selection of bowlers.He very well knows the value of Aswin as a bowler and costed him heavily in the 3 rd test for not including him in the team..He selects a partime mediocre bowler in Jadeja as the main spinner for a test match.Binny is selected as an alrounder and Dhoni saw that he hardly bowled instead gives bowling to Murali Vijay and Shikar Dhavan.He repeats the mistake by taking R.Sharma instead of Aswin in 3rd test.Aswin could have scored that many runs as R.Sharma and may have taken a 5 wicket haul also.This creates a picture that Dhoni either is stupidly over confident or is playing politics.

  • gillythanda on August 3, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    Mr Crowe, your article on the team selection and about conservative (stubborn) test leadership qualities about Dhoni is spot on. In the Anderson issue, first of all, as you mentioned, the game doesnt need it. Players like him (or be it anybody), needed to be reminded (umpires can take a role that decency is maintained on the field, as these players are seen as role models by many),that there is no god given right to abuse their opponents, and it wont be tolerated anymore. Am surprise as how you missed out on Cook's far fetched comment about India using this Anderson issue as a tactic, did he not cross the line with his comments ?

  • sergio11 on August 3, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    oohh come on..yes Jadeja lack skills..he is only 25..and the only alround player ind have got.so according to Mr Crowe jadeja must sit in the bench all this career, then when wil he learn the so called skills...no players had come into the circuit as a complete product..they are learned from the experience..jadeja with hand full number of test experience cannt bowl like Daniel vettori....again according to the athuor his 68 was a fluk...its not the first time me batted like that with success...i can remember 2 or 3 inng in NZ as well...if Daniel Vettori can captain NZ...Vettori at jadeja age was nothing..and went on to became one of the best if not the best left arm orthidox spinner of all time...

  • on August 3, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    I dont know why compare Jadeja 's bowling with anyone at Southampton, as Jadeja bowled on a beautiful Dead Pitch on the First 2 days and the batsmen did pay him full respect as his bowling average of the first innings shows. Take into consideration that England got away with Bell's wicket, 167 +, Iand then Butler got the free hand with Bell to go hell for leather. It would have been a totally different scenario if the bowler was Anderson or Allan Donald and Not Pankaj Singh , Do you get my Point ? It was just a respect given to Anderson but not to Pankaj Singh for bowling Identical Beautiful Deliveries and getting different Results from the same umpire ! Of course Jadeja is not a big turner of the ball but neverthless he was economical.

  • on August 3, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    I do agree that Binny shouldn't have been in the playing XI for the first two tests, but I doubt if Ashwin could have made any significant difference. Ashwin is very good at home, but his away record is dismal. He hasn't bowled well at all in unhelpful conditions. The "proven wicket-taking skill" only applies to matches played in India. I also think Crowe is thinking too highly of Kohli. It's true that Virat is an outstanding ODI batsman with a lot of potential, but he hasn't done anything extraordinary in Test Cricket. His record is decent, nothing special.

  • B.R.K.R on August 3, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    yep, i observe that most of cricketers in the present indian team seem to be a better fit for odi and t20 cricket than tests and this seems to be a trend in most cricket teams with the amount of money and viewer interest in T20s, perhaps its time to reduce the amount of tests played to say 5-6 a year and make it exotic with more focus on T20s given the limited amount of time people have these days

  • Nampally on August 3, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    There are a number of Nay sayers for Ashwin's inclusion, amongst the commenters. They are comparing Ashwin's lack of performance in SA & NZ where he played no more than 3 matches. The first thing about Ashwin is his super performance in 19 Tests - he took 104 wkts. + scored nearly 800 runs at an average of 40 runs. No so called "All Rounders" like Jadeja or Binny even come close to matching it. If there is to be just 1 "Spinner" in the XI, Ashwin justifies his inclusion solely on his record. Both Binny & Jadeja are second strings to Ashwin. Yet Jadeja played in all 3 Tests + Binny in 2 & Ashwin NONE. Secondly, England has 5 or 6 LH batsmen. It is well known that a good off spinner can annul the LH bats, It does not need a Rocket scientist to pronounce this conclusion! England pitches this year are closest to the Indian ones. Is Ashwin's benching justified ? The XI selection is based on Ability, Skill & Record. Ashwin has proven #1 Indian Spinner! How does Dhoni justify benching Ashwin?

  • Rajeshj on August 3, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    I think Ashwin's pride and mental wavelength would have been disturbed enormously in these three tests .. If Ashwin plays and performs well in the next two tests, then it would show his strong mental side.. But chances are that he could fail.. Plus Dhoni sets negative fields sometimes for spinners which could harm his rhythm as well.. I still remember the tests in Australia, when Ashwin openly said that his job was to contain and not bowl aggressively to take wickets.. Quite shocking to hear that at that time and it duly resulted him in being sidelined for overseas tests.. I think Dhoni's negative tactics has a lot hindered the development of spinners (the sad cases of Mishra and Ojha).. I would say Dhoni's time is out as captain and he should be replaced at the Test level..

  • Rajeshj on August 3, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    I think we are getting ominous signs from Dhoni pertaining to his team selections.. he is not picking the right player for the right job and instead dwelves deeply in his own world of preferences.. Who knows, because of his rigidness, he may not select Gambhir and Ashwin again for the next test.. I think the selectors have a major role to play after this series is over.. No one is bigger than the team and that includes Dhoni as well.. His keeping has not been great and just scored a couple of fifties in spite of being the senior batsmen in the team.. At Lords, he was saved by the fighting century of Rahane, the dogged 95 scored by Vijay which tired Eng. bowlers thoroughly and a match winning spell by Ishant .. Excepting the tips to Ishant to bowl short, his tactics or match selections did not win us the match.. so the selectors will have to watch the next two tests closely and take a good call based on the results..

  • Alberteinstien on August 3, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    Rishi Dhawan,Lamiratan shukla,Abhishek Nayar,chandrasekhar ganapathy are all better allrounder than Stuart binny then what is he doing in this tour. I accept that binny can swing the ball but one should remember that even Ganguly and Sachin can also swing the ball and if swinging allrounder was required than why he was not given the new ball. If swing was going to play big role in this series then where is Praveen kumar.He averaged 29 with ball in the last disasterous English tour where every other indian bowler averaged more than 50.Praveen kumar is in decent form also as it was evident in IPL.He has also opened for U.P. so no mug with the bat.

  • Alberteinstien on August 3, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Ashwin batting average is better than Kapil dev and bowling average is better than Kapil dev then why is he not a genuine allrounder.Kapil dev was the indian cricketer of the last century according to Wisden and for this century it will be Ashwin.

  • Alberteinstien on August 3, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Ashwin should open in next match as he has made 100 for Tamil nadu opening the inning.If a batsman average 40 at no.8 then he will easily average above 50 opening.My team for next match is Ashwin,Vijay,pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Naman ojha,,dhoni Jadeja Bhuvi aaron pankaj

  • crinform on August 3, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Our Indian team has to learn so many things from the juniors - India A, which one the final in Australia.......Batting, Bowling, Fielding, but the most important point is DEDICATION & CHANGE THE STYLE ACCORDING TO THE STATE OF THE MATCH.

    And many of the A team can replace many of the Senior team......... Best wishes to Dhoni & present team members for the next two tests.

  • REDHOTCHILI on August 3, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    @Test_Match_Fan, Its too early to write off Kohli based on his 27 matches, if you look at Laxman's first 27 matches his average was abysmal 37, but over the period he got it improved to 45, its certainly not a great number to boast about, but his 2'nd innings heroics and match saving efforts were undeniably impressive. Obviously we can't compare Kohli with Gavaskar, Gavaskar is/was the greatest Indian TEST batsman (better than SRT and RD in my opinion), but if you look at all these player's first few formative years of their test career, they all had averages less than their career averages, not only these Indian greats, even if you look at Ponting and Kallis, they had about 40/41 average in their first 30 matches. All the above said batsman peaked when they were in 27-36 yr age. Kohli is just 25, he has golden future ahead, by the time he plays his 80'th or 90'th test match, I'm sure he will have his average in upper 50's. Regarding Pujara, I totally agree with you.

  • crockit on August 3, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    Agree wih landl47 - Kumar and Ohja should be on tour. Ithink ohja is now coming.

  • Hrolf on August 3, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Of the many on field sins of Indian cricket in the last few years I find Dhoni's man-management of bowler amongst the worst. Whether it be international cricket, in Tests, ODIs or T20s, or with Chennai in the IPL, Dhoni consistently finds different ways to undermine the confidence of the bowlers in his charge. The art of bowling requires the belief and imagination that what you do will trick someone else, eventually, despite perhaps being flogged to the boundary. A batsman merely has to have believe in himself. Confidence is even more vital to a bowler than a batsman, and Dhoni consistently fails to understand this, and indeed shows no understanding at all in the art of bowling.

  • on August 3, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    gambhir should be in place of dhawan, ashwin in place of jadeja and binni in place of rohit this will be the right combination

  • whirlaway on August 3, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    Yes, it was clear that Dhoni was playing for a draw. I cannot forget this match in 2009 - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/366629.html when he was not interested in winning (could have easily declared 20-30 overs earlier and aggressively gone for a win). Instead, he played for a draw because that way he could be assured of a 1-0 series win.

    I wasted quite a bit of money and time watching that match in the hope that India could make it 2-0. So, I am always pleased when Dhoni's negative tactics backfire on him! :-)

  • Test_Match_Fan on August 3, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    @CricketAficionado, Pujara is out of form but a serious talent, not Kohli, as far as test cricket is concerned. Kohli has scored a mere 1800 runs from 27 tests with a career average of 42, Pujara 54. I only watch test cricket (no IPL and don't care for world cup either). Sorry to bring this bad news. But Kohli is being anointed as a Gavaskar or Laxman without having done anything. He needs focus on playing cricket in white clothes in Ranji Trophy and county cricket and prove consistency first. Too much stardom before major accomplishment is his undoing.

  • here2rock on August 3, 2014, 2:57 GMT

    I agree with Martin Crowe, the experiment with Jadeja as an all rounder has gone too far, he bowls just too fast for a wicket taking bowler. India is missing a leg spinner in the side as there is so much rough against the left handers, someone like Amit Mishra or Piyush Chawla would have been really handy. India should not expect to win too many test series with Dhoni as a selector and captain. India need to play three seamers, one leg spinner and one off spinner in the side, cover all the bases.

  • Johnny_129 on August 3, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    What India needs is for Dhoni to get a solid kick on his behind while his bending in his wicket-keeping stance to collect a delivery from Jadeja or Rohit!! Enough said.

  • Sexysteven on August 3, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    If India are going to comeback and win another test this series they have to get there selections right vijay gambhir pujara kohli rahane dhoni jadeja ashwin kumar pankaj Aaron would be the team I would go for jadeja only gets in cos the pitches so far suggests you need two spinners Aaron comes in to add some pace to the team with pankaj kumar is bowling well ashwin as the more attacking spinner gambhir to open his experience might help pujara kohli to find form eventually rahane in good form dhoni to add his bit at six plus jadej aswin kumar can bat abit down the order prob the best team you can come up with I think let's hope the Indian selectors see it that way or otherwise India are gifting England this series

  • Johnny_129 on August 3, 2014, 1:49 GMT

    Martin Crowe is a genius - His comments need to be taken very seriously. And those pointing to Ashwin's abysmal overseas record, Martin is aware of this fact! All Indian bowlers have a shocking overseas record but that does not mean Ashwin's chances of coming good is any less than Rohit's!! I would put my money on Ashwin any day ahead of Rohit. Even if Ashwin can't be the match-winning bowler that is expected of him - He can definitely pick up a wicket or two - Even a crucial wicket. Secondly, Ashwin contributes useful lower order runs. Thirdly, Ashwin is India's best slipsman. Dhoni is hard-headed - He has his favourites, Jadeja, Ishant and Rohit - Includes them at every opportunity. Ashwin was ineffective in Aus but he would have learnt and he still contributed with the bat.

  • FX_5 on August 2, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    Mr. Crowe, very good one by you. As you said something is wrong in one end for not including Ashwin. He is one bowler who uses well the bounce of the pitch. He should have been picked up from Lords, by now he will be settled as an all-rounder in oversea, they have wasted 3 testes with Jedeja and 2 with Binney. In last tour Ashwin failed, certainly given a chance now he could have won one more test for India. Its now going to be difficult after the star players back in form in English side. They should thank Dhoni for not troubling with different bowling attack

  • landl47 on August 2, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    Having won the second test, largely because of Bhuvi with both bat and ball, Dhoni decided to lengthen his batting line-up. He was quite open about this, although his claim that 'we' didn't use Binny when in fact 'he' didn't use Binny was somewhat disingenuous. Putting in Rohit for an all-rounder and leaving the side with 4 bowlers was a defensive move, designed to draw the test rather than win it.

    So far, I'm with you, Martin. The problem is that I don't think Ashwin is a great test bowler, especially in English conditions. He's a mystery spinner who barely turns the ball, like Sri Lanka's Mendis. He had some success at the start of his career, but England worked him out in India in 2012 and his 14 wickets cost over 50 each. If he could only manage that in India, how will he do in England?

    The bowlers who should have been here are Praveen Kumar and Pragyan Ojha. Both have had success against England and are suited to English conditions. Not bringing them was India's major mistake.

  • Vkarthik on August 2, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    Rohit Sharma also failed overseas. Why do you pick him not Ashwin? Besides anyone with little cricket knowledge would know the difference between Duke balls and Kookaburra balls. Kookaburra balls are hard to master in one or two test as it has less pronounced seam that will wear off in 20 overs. But Duke ball is more like SG ball (one we use in India) . Seam is pronounced it will not lose its seam for 50 '60 overs. More conducive to spinners. Whenever indian batsmen fail abroad in a test they get an extra batsman to back them whenever a bowler gets a bad test they are dropped immediately. Batsmen (Rohit, dhawan) keep getting chances despite sucking overseas. Bowlers keep getting dropped.

  • on August 2, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Not sure about Ashwin as he was really ineffective in South Africa and might be a bit short of a run..however Dhoni cannot keep Jadeja so he has to make this change...very surprising that Umesh Yadav nor Mohit Sharma are not in the reckoning unless they were injured prior to the tour...Overall my biggest disappointment is Mohamed Shami's form....i really expected him to be a surprise factor and to relish English conditions...in retrospect he is suited to low/ skiddy wickets which can reverse swing later on and needs to learn more patience on these surfaces. If Raina is in the squad,id be tempted to play him in a J.P.Duminy role...a 7 left handed bat who bowls support offies

  • on August 2, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    I think it is a great analysis. Keeping Ashwin out on the bench is not understood at all, specially when you look at Binny playing in the first two matches. Ashiwin should be the first pick spinner. Even with the bat, he might not be as talented as Jadeja is but his records certainly is better than Jadeja. I am a big fan of Jadeja, but his bowling in the last three tests, his batting barring that exceptional innings at Lords, and the drop catch that gave Cook a life and probable death to the career of Pankaj Singh's test career has made me think again. I think Ashwin should come in place of Rohit Sharma for the next match. Consider if from Vijay to Dhoni that long list is unable to score, then why put another bats man in the team. If Rohit needs to be brought in, he should be coming in place of a batsman rather than a bowler we so desperately need. Rohit is a good enough batsman to bat any where from # 1 to 6, so consider replacing one of them.

  • REDHOTCHILI on August 2, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    @Test_Match_Fan, Is Kohli a 20-20 IPL entertainment pony? Are you nuts? Which world are you living in dude? That guy Kohli is a colossal talent. He has scored centuries in last overseas tours in SA and NZ. He is going through bad form, nothing more than that. He will overcome this phase sooner or later, even if he doesn't score runs in this series, no single discerning Indian cricket fan will worry much, coz they know how special he is. Mr.Crowe, very good piece of writing. wish Indian management had person of your caliber in their team.

  • raulraj on August 2, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    My XI for 4th Test: Vijay, Rahane Pujara Kohli Rohit Dhoni Binny Ashwin Bhuvi Aaron Pankaj

  • Test_Match_Fan on August 2, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Martin Crowe, Nice article. As an Indian cricket fan let me say too many articles are pro India simply because of the money BCCI wields. From that aspect finally someone like you has spoken the truth. But let me correct your following statement: "it should spell the end of the bits-and-pieces one-day cricketer that Jadeja ultimately is"

    In above statement replace Jadeja with: Jadeja, Dhoni and Kohli. All 3 are masquerading as test cricketers. They are 20-20 IPL entertainment ponies. Please free us test cricket fans from this sham and drop all 3

  • wolf777 on August 2, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    Ashwin has never performed overseas. Why he is in the touring party?

  • Mr_Anonymous on August 2, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    Martin,

    I think your faith in Ashwin is to be commended. I can't say the same for myself. On overseas tours, Ashwin has been disappointing so far. It is surprising how good his record in India is and how different his record is outside India. I don't disagree that he is still pretty young and deserves more chances outside India. However, so far, he has been a bit inconsistent, seems to want to try too many things and seemingly cannot make up his mind between attack and defence (there is a place for both). The bottom line is that he has not succeeded outside India so far. English tracks are a bit different from SA or Australia and a bowler who bowls a good line and length, is consistent, spins the ball and has variations can be quite successful on English tracks. However, I fail to understand how you think this one selection could have turned the whole team around. I think that is putting too much faith in one person. He is not in the same class as Murali or Warne (atleast not yet).

  • on August 2, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    What have they against Aswins selection. He can even score useful runs .Was he not Indias front line spinner until now. Whats going on. I. Anandasabapathy M.D

  • Vkarthik on August 2, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    Dhoni always tries to protect himself with no.6 batsman while leaving bowlers high and dry. He used all his powers to make Binny look useless just to add Rohit sharma in the next Test. When Rohit sharma played a reckless shot he went out of the way to defend him. But left Binny in the cold. So there is a clear cut scheming going on. Whoever having IPL value keep getting picked.

  • Nampally on August 2, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    India has a very talented team of determined youngsters. But it is left up to Dhoni as to select right XI. Amongst the Bowlers, dropping Ashwin for all 3 Tests so far was simply insane! From the rest I would have liked to have seen Ishant Sharma sent back to India & replaced by U.Yadev. Ishant's injury is down played just to keep one of Dhoni's favourites enjoying a holiday. He will not be fir for the last 2 Tests. While a minor injury to Saha resulted in him being replaced instantly, why not Ishant be replaced? If Yadev joins the squad, he can operate in tandem with Aaron- both around 145 kph. Kumar & Pankaj can be the other 2 seamers. Ashwin as the solo spinner completes the 5 Bowlers. In batting Ojha who was in terrific form in Australia can open the innings with Vijay & hope to give a better start to India. Pujara, Kohli, Rahane & Dhoni will complete the 6 man batting. With this balanced logical XI, India will be in a much better position to hit back.Can Dhoni return to Logic & WIN

  • US_Indian on August 2, 2014, 17:52 GMT

    Martin Crowe you are spot on - when five batsmen and couple of half batsmen i mean allrounders cannot do adding another batsman cant do much. It is the basic rule that 5 & 5 and a decent WK with some batting or a batsman with some bowling skills are the perfect combination. But above all you need a decent fielding unit and much better wicket keeper to help the bowlers as well if not the southampton result is going to be repeated time and again. If straight forward chances cant be held then no one can help. Jadeja not only dropped a catch but he let Cook of the hook and his two good knocks will do him a world of good and that is not a good sign for India because now he is under less pressure and can bat freely and everyone knows how much damaging that can be for india as a batsman and also his batting form will reduce his stress as a captain too, Both Bell and Cook along with Anderson are the ABC of england so letting them getting into form was bad and the judgement in favor of Jimmy to

  • on August 2, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    What's more annoying is the fact that India's so called best overseas spinner was shown up by an England part timer. It clearly shows Jadeja's level as spinner in any format, let alone Tests. He was absolutely disastrous. What's wrong with Shami?? Neither pace, nor swing, and definitely NO signs of the reverse swing that catapulted him to be India's best choice for Tests ahead of Bhuvneshwar. He needs a break, talk to some quicks... Preferably someone like Wasim, and bowl with a plan. India failed because we went in with just 2 bowlers, one of them on debut. Time to change. Ashwin for Rohit, Gambhir for Dhawan, Aaron for Shami are compulsory changes. Other changes could be to give Ishwar a chance ahead of Pankaj, and bring in the in form Ohja instead of Jadeja. Since Vijay has done better than Jad with the ball, he can bowl the overs of the fifth bowler, along with Kohli and even Ohja if needed. But all 3 together should get just 10-15 overs per day. India can still come back.

  • on August 2, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    indian selector now need to realize that they have given the task to wrong person it's high time for the selectors to think of another captain in longer format and should bring back sehwag yuvraj karthik and harbhajan it's high time to make the change as the team performance overseas is degrading and the current players don't seem any way near to fill up the likes of sehwag,gambhir,yuvraj and bhaji

  • on August 2, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Dhoni needs to understand something. Players like Kallis, Sachin, Gavaskar, Dravid, Steve Waugh are not players by chance they are players born out of hard work and those are the players we remember in test cricket and talk about. Players who peak in a season in meaningless ODI and flashy T20 dont really have to be successfull in test cricket. There are exception, I agree. Dhoni think weird selections like Joginder Sharma for last over will workout every time in Test Cricket. Forget it Dhoni that will never happen in Test cricket, because you need a player to be consistent over 90*5 over and not just 20 overs. R u really serious when you pick Dhawan and hoping to be successful? If a player gets so many chances like him and Rohit, they are bound to make a 100 one day and that's not how you choose a player for test. We pick player with confidence that he would score run every single game not some game...Dravid, Rahane are of that kind. Dhawan is not Shewag..Rohit is not Sachin....Wake up

  • glen1 on August 2, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Let's face it, no amount of beating down on Dhoni will solve this problem, till he is removed. Dhoni simply lacks the complex reasoning and logic required to manage test cricket during travel; the home turf does not require this. His lack of understanding of complex scenarios is baffling; if Ishanth had not turned in that spell, the match was almost gone. He will now select Ashwin for the next test, where England will make sure that there is no turn but just bounce, Ashwin will fail and Dhoni will claim victory in his reasoning. Dhoni should have always only been a short format captain.

  • on August 2, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    I'm not agree with you 'crickketlover', if you think that india did won due to his great bowling then even England didn't won due to their batting. It's Indian negative bowling that helped England to fancy their chances. if India could have bowled in right areas consistently then result would have been different. I strongly feel that India helped England won the match not England outweined India. Yes, I agree that Ashwin couldn't made any difference with his bowling but definitely he could have done a lot lot better with his batting than Rohit did. Moreover, Dhoni didn't look to go for win rather he went to drew this match and that made England's way easier, MSD came with clear intention to win Lord's test and that we can see by his captaincy. Definitely India can still be in this series but...but MSD has to 150% aggressive in upcoming match. What hurts me more than a lose, India gifted their wickets to Moeen instead of picking up wickets. All batsmen played for wrong line.

  • RajSma on August 2, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Even if Ashwin is brought in,he alone cant win the match.India needs to drop out of form Shami and bring Aaron/Pandey.Also India needs to drop the Extra Batsman and bring Ashwin instead.He can easily fill in as 6th batsmen... MY XI: Vj,Dhawan,Che,Virat,Rahane,Ashwin,Dhoni,pandey/Jadeja,Bhuvi,Aaron,Pankaj. Jadeja can stay if pitch looks less greener as it is in Ageas Bowl test.

  • deol84 on August 2, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    ashwin is not legendary kumble who has the ability to roll the team over.

  • crickketlover on August 2, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    This is the India that we all know when they play in England. The win at Lords was because of poor batting by England and it is not because of superior India bowling. I am not surprised by this result in the third test. I really don't think Ashwin would have made any difference in the result. You are correct on one thing - Kholi and Pujara are too good to be ignored.

  • jimmyvida on August 2, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Another great article from Crowe. But, am I the only joker on this planet who sees India's fielding as their problem. Actually dropping 4-6 catches per game and not attempting to take many others is the problem I see with India. Over and over again we see balls passing India's fieldsmen a yard or even a foot away without a decent effort to stop the ball. Or am I simply a nutcase?

  • Nampally on August 2, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Excellent Factual assessment brilliantly presented, Martin! I am an Indian Cricket fan who has been bamboozled by illogical XI selection by Dhoni for the past 3 years. Sadly the Indian Selectors do not have guts to sack Dhoni from Test Captaincy. India had England on their knees after the Lords Test with England a disjointed team with Captain on the verge of breakdown. Yet Dhoni found a way via his Bizzare XI selection to let the momentum swing 180 degrees back in England's way. It is simply insane to drop Ashwin when England has 5 or 6 LH bats. The best known way to counter them is to have a RH off spinner. Ashwin is the fastest 100 wkt. taker in Test Cricket. On the current English dry pitches which match those in India, Ashwin should be the #1 choice amongst the bowlers. Yet he has been consistently Benched! Calling Jadeja a specialist bowler/spinner is laughable. India can still get back by replacing Rohit & Jadeja with Aaron & Ashwin! India need 5 specialist bowlers to Win not 3!

  • Siva_Bala75 on August 2, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Ashwin can bat as well if not better than Jadeja. Importantly, Ashwin is a better bowler than Jadeja. Case rested and closed. Dhoni keeps talking about the usefulness of the 5th bowler when he only plays 3. Who is your 4th bowler- Dhoni?

  • on August 2, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    India made right noise in the 1st test by playing 5 bowlers. Message to opponents was clear 'we have learnt our lessons, we want to win, and if that takes 5 so called bowlers, so be it'. There was a clear intent shown and it created a positive vibe for frontline bowlers to push for 20 wickets. Why 5th bowler was underutilized in first 2 tests is another lengthy topic for discussion, but India got the required result by unrelenting bowling attack for 1st 2 tests. Now, coming back to 3rd test, history lessons were forgotten, India was back to 4 bowler theory with a 'hope' that these 4 bowlers (including one part time spinner as defensive tactic, and a new debutant) will do the magic for India. Intent was again made clear here 'We are one up, we are not interested in winning another one here, please DO NOT DISTURB'. I think England understood the message very clearly and have rubbed India the 'right' way. Unless India changes this defensive/clueless mindset.. India is going to repeat 2011

  • on August 2, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    i wud rather say dat for sumtime now the indian oppening pair has been goin thru a bad run....don't u guyz think dhawan shud b rested as he lacks the temperament of palying test cricket at the highest level and gambhir shud b given a chance in playin X1...as far as Aswin n Jadeja r concerned,for me Ashwin is a far better cricketer dan Jadeja any given day as he has 2 test centuries too against his name and has more skills dan jadeja.

  • prij on August 2, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    everybody has their own opinion even they haven't even hold the bat in their life. on the other hand player like martin crowe has a opinion still I can see some people who think they are the expert and have their own opinion about how india should play. give it a rest and enjoy good game of cricket with two young sides trying to establish themselves in international circuit. in the end it is game of cricket only.

  • gnat9 on August 2, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Dropping Ashwin in England on the basis of his performance in SA and Australia is an indication that the team management is unable to think straight. Australian and South African pitches are not at all conducive to spinners. The English ones on the other hand, are turning this year thanks to the exceptionally hot summer. It is amazing how people can lack such simple common sense. Ashwin deserves to play more than Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan do.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 2, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Crowe is right to say that Ashwin should have played. But it is not Pankaj that he should played instead of. It is Rohit. Binny, the fourth seamer, should have been replaced by Ashwin so we would still have had 5 bowlers. Ashwin would probably have made at least as many runs as Rohit did, as he can bat as well. You can't go into a test in England with only two medium pacers, which is what Crowe seems to be suggesting by arguing that Ashwin should have played instead of Pankaj. Anyway, looking forward, Rohit should be replaced by Ashwin and if Bhuvi is injured Aaron or Pandey should play. You can't beat a balanced 5 man bowling attack - 3 quickies and 2 spinners - especially when two of those bowlers (Jadeja and Ashwin) - can bat as well.

  • Cric_fan1000 on August 2, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Agree with Crowe. Ashwin should have been in n jadeja should have been out. Ashwin can bat too as he has a proper technique. He plays with a proper technique even in T20s. Pankaj replacing Ishant is correct as a fast bowler replaces another as we r playing in England. More than his batting, his bowling was a concern as 20 wickets are needed to win a test. It will be interesting to see MS tactics in the next test. I would not blame MS for his selection as jadeja had done well in lords test. In the next match gambhir n ashwin should be in for shikar dhawan n jadeja.

  • wpbus13 on August 2, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I am not sure Ashwin is the answer...Jadeja is a more complete cricketer in my opinion.

  • crindo77 on August 2, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Its amazing how the opinions of the many experts on TV and in print vary so wildly from one game to another. At the beginning it was the clash of the average sides, then it was India can do no wromg and the end of Cook; after S'hampton its back to India's whipping boy abroad status. Mr Crowe wrote a long piece on the many ills of Englands coaching and captaincy; now Peter Moore is being congratulated. Could it simply be that England played poorly in Lords, and India now are back to their abysmal ways. Cook is no better a captain or batsman than at the beginning of Ashes 2014. Ishant Sharm's notorious lack of effect is still very much there; as for crying out for Ashwin, not long before he was deemed as a very poor spinner, obsessed with variations, no penetration whatosver. Why do you think they turned to a bits and pieces cricketer like Jadeja in the first place? India win when they bat well, as is the case with most. If top 6 batters cant do the job, why assume 7-10 will.

  • MaruthuDelft on August 2, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    I am surprised by the fact that Ashwin gets such a level of support. It is not his lack of wickets that caused MS to overlook; it is the way he bowled. He looked hopelessly ineffective and defensive. But as usual pundits and fans failed to mention something important; I think it was in the second innings of the last test Down Under in 2011; he finally started bowling aggressively and got 2 front line batsmen back in the pavilion quickly. On the whole Martin Crowe and Ashwin supporters may be right; he can potentially be a good bowler; potentially be India's best test batsman; and potentially replace Dhoni as captain. But just potentially!

  • bingohaley on August 2, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    Excellent article by Martin Crowe. This man sees a lot more than the most experts, and also writes very well: to the point and calling a spade a spade.

  • on August 2, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    Ashwin should be brought in for one more reason. He has the potential to be India's test captain. The day is not far away when this will happen.

  • on August 2, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    For the people who say Ashwin and Jadeja are not good enough for Tests abroad, who else do you think is good? Ojha is a good bowler, but hasn't been in form for months now, getting whacked even in Indian conditions in IPL and Ranji. And Ojha cannot bat, leaving our tail too long. Harbhajan Singh hasn't bowled well even in India for over two years now. Amit Mishra is showing his skills now and again and can certainly bat, but he was carted all over the park in the 2011 England series. And as we saw in the latter half of the T20 world cup, whenever Mishra is put under pressure, he tries to bowl faster and loses his line and length. Rasool and Patel are other two spinners who can bat, but they are both really new and need at least two years more of experience in domestic level and ODIs in India, to be considered good enough for Tests at the highest level. So far now, Ashwin and Jadeja are the best bet. They need to be backed up for at least 3 test matches together.

  • on August 2, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    I agree eith" Himsez" dhoni justifying his selection rather than winning. ishant. he is very lucky being part of indian squad, he never shown his consistency And he is very consistent to show the poor form. dhoni must quit test cricket immediately otherwise he will face the downfall of his oneday reputation soon.

  • Boss_To_Lead on August 2, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    continue my pervious comment:

    Ashwin's second overseas series is against SA.........his 1st series there and he played one game and didn't fetch any wicket.

    For me, SA team has best batting team against spin other than the sub-continent teams..........forget a spinner getting a wicket in SA against the likes of peterson, smith, amla, kallis, de villers and faf ...if anyone can remember the recently concluded series in SL ...where SA is facing SL's best spinners in their backyard ....where SL spinner's are not able to windup the match on 5th day against a SA team without smith and kallis..........this proves this SA team is better batting against spinners.................................all can say how jadeja got 6 wickets in next match against SA in SA .....one has to remember the 2nd test match suits the spinners welll..................on any day Ashwin is far better cricketer than jadeja........and if Ashwin is given time he will be far better spinner than Kukmble and bhaji..

  • Boss_To_Lead on August 2, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    For all who are against Ashwin: His overseas record: 4 mths 9 wkts 74 avg....

    He played 3 of that matches in Australia .....3mtch 9wkts 62 avg....

    1.) this his 1st overseas series.....I feel he did better that his average shows her .....if people can remember these matches there are quite few drop catches in slip by dravid and dhoni cost him few wickets.....

    2.) best off-spinner to play cricket, M Muralitharan from Sl....his record in Australia ....5mtch 12wkts 75avg

    3.) This is ashwin's 1st series in aus....he did well and have to give credit aus batsmen they always attacked him and good thing is he his still playing test cricket and not retire from test cricket as like of swann of england quite test cricket since aussie's hit him hard to run away from cricet......

  • ladycricfan on August 2, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    @tanstell87, read the article " Holding role is not my strength" -Ashwin, in cricinfo. According to him the management asked him to hold one end up is overseas tours. How can you take wickets then? It is easy to criticise without knowing the full facts.

  • himsez on August 2, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    For Keeping his regulars dhoni has destroyed many careers of players like Praveen Kumar who would have blown england away for sure with bhuvi. THen there is Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Irfan Pathan, Y Pathan, Binny, Sehwag, Gambhir and the list goes on... He will take players as he wants and not as needed. Why do you need to support Rohit Sharma so much. Good things Ishant got injured. He is a one match show. He would not have performed for the remaining matches anyway making him a baggage. 0 Wickets in Entire Test Match and 0 Runs. Not a good fielder. If players like Shikhar Dhawan who score once every few matches, regularly drop catches what was wrong with Sehwag. He atleast had an average he maintained. Murli Vijay is finally doing some good but he is only holding an end and not scoring runs as much. He will fail when he needs to score runs faster like on the fifth day. Dhoni cannot bat in Test Matches.

  • on August 2, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    " That straightforward drop could well be the turning point of this series, of Cook's career, and it should spell the end of the bits-and-pieces one-day cricketer that Jadeja ultimately is. There is no doubt his 68 at Lord's took the match away from England but if we are honest, it was a lucky, often flukey, display. In a nutshell, he lacks Test match temperament." Exactly my thoughts. To all those who tell that ashwin is ineffective overseas, an out of form Ashwin is far better than an in form Jadeja, anyday. Though both dont deserve a spot in tests, in this squad, ashwin shud play in place of Jaddu. Both Jaddu n Binny are "bits n pieces" players, they dont win us test matches. Lord's was a fluke. India is missing Umesh Yadav. Bhuvi n Yadav with the new ball could have been dangerous. Shami needs a rest. I'm actually happy that Ishant is injured. He was REALLY lucky at Lord's. Dhoni needs to stop playing test cricket. we need some new brains at the helm..

  • Nutcutlet on August 2, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    What puzzles me is how it seems that MSD has the last say in the composition of his side. Many would retort, perhaps: what's wrong with that? He's the captain and must have confidence in each team member. And that would be a reasoned response were it not for the presence of one, Duncan Fletcher. Now, I don't think that the reclusive, deep-thinking DF would have missed such an obvious point as not playing Ashwin, considering the number of left-hand bats in the England line up. Ashwin is an intelligent bowler and will adapt to the conditions, given the opportunity. Anyway, many pundits have remarked how similar the wickets are to those found in India! Maybe little adaptation is required. Surely MS & DF have conversations about the matter. It must be the captain who makes the wrong call. Why do they (or is it just MS?) keep coming up with the wrong answer? It's perverse. Ashwin's continuing absence has to be explained, because it is baffling, frankly. Not that England minds.

  • tanstell87 on August 2, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    @ Cricketfan11111 - are you sure R Ashwin is a match winner in overseas conditions because he has picked only 9 wickets in 7 innings(4 tests) in overseas tests at an average of 74.77....he was dropped after he failed to get any wickets in Jo'burg test....also Ashwin could get only 2 wickets in 8 ODIs (3ODIs vs South Africa & 5ODIs vs New Zealand) and then Dhoni dropped him for tests vs New Zealand....Ashwin has been mediocre in ODIs in India too where he was thrashed by Australians in ODI series played in India October-November 2013....Ashwin should only play T20Is & tests in India where dustbowls work in his favour...

    Also Dhoni & selectors should have gone with Amit Mishra against England as they traditionally struggle against leg-spin....

    India should go with Gambhir, Aaron, Pankaj & Ishwar Pandey (if Bhuvi is unfit) for 4th test if they have any hope of winning this series.

  • on August 2, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    we got the new dhoni at lords and again he back to his old tactics so called "dhonis defefence". he was believed four bowler theory to get those 20 wkts n gone wrong. he was always defended his wrong selection. when u look back the 3 tests u could found his defence. at notts he was' nt regret to play ash, at lords binny bwled only 10 overs and at ageas bowl 3 quiks 1 tired bowler,1 out of form bowler n 1 debutant and jaddu was selected to bowl wrong line. ind need new captain with fresh ideas.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 2, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Would have,should have,if only,but also...Love the desperation though.Search is on for a few saviours.Heard a few names so far like Sewag,Bajji why even Naman!But,guys isnt it asking bit much of Ash to do a Mitch,single handedly turn it around,esp in Eng?

  • Jackpot6 on August 2, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Small correction - India do not have any fast bowlers; they have medium pacers, fast & skill full bowlers is kind of a delicacy in Indian bowling attack which is dry after Zaheer...

  • ladycricfan on August 2, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Ashwin can spin the ball. He has good variations. He has the ability to land the ball where ever he wants to. He can work the batsmen out. What else a spinner needs? To say he is not a good bowler outside SC after 4 matches does not make any sense. Ashwin will learn more by playing in different conditions. He is the fastest Indian bowler to get 100 wickets. His batting average is same as Dhoni's, 39. Why is Dhoni ignoring a match winner?

  • MiddleStump on August 2, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Dhoni and the selectors have probably destroyed Ashwin's overseas career forever. Ashwin is a frontline spinner who got 100 wickets in 19 tests. So he knows something about off spin bowling. But he has never been given a run of even 5 tests abroad. He is tossed out after a test or two. Even if he is picked to play for a test on this tour and later in Australia, he knows that the selectors will drop him immediately should he fail. Nobody can perform well in such a scenario. Ashwin is also a good slip fielder and has better temperament as a test batsman than Jadeja or Binny. However, Jadeja is the favourite of the selectors and will be persisted with for the entire series even if his strike rate is well over 100 and he drops crucial catches.

  • Madpashcrickers on August 2, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    " . . . Anderson has been guilty of this crass sledging-type behaviour before and needs to pull his head in fast."

    Well said Martin. and fortunately we won't have to put up with his antics too much longer as he is all but finished - he is largely ineffective with the ball and over the past year he has been seriously found out and demolished by the likes of Agar, Bailey, Matthews and Rahane. To see a young lad like Ashton Agar straight out of club cricket carting Anderson all round the ground last year and Anderson having nothing in his locker to deal with it was very telling. If the ball isn't swinging much Anderson's bowling is just cannon fodder, and he usually doesn't swing it much, certainly no more than any other reasonably competent seamer. He's been comfortably outbowled by Woakes and Stokes recently and that's without them ever managing to get their hands on the new ball.

  • on August 2, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Ashwin has only played 4 test outside of Ind, its far to early to write him off especially considering his home & batting record. Shane William you may want to pay closer attention to the games you watch live because Ashwin didn't play in either tests in NZ.

  • on August 2, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Interesting Article Martin.But question is : Are Ashwin and Jadeja good enough of running through line-ups outside subcontinents??I doubt that!! In my view they should have persisted with Binny ( There is no harm in having a Plan B ready specially when it comes at cost of Rohit Sharma of whom I was once a huge FAN myself but disappointed) Biggest blunder was not taking Yadav to tour. Should give Aaron a go as he will bring that X-factor lacking in our fast bowling. Why worry about few runs . Dhoni shoud learn from Ponting how to show trust in your Wild-Card X factor. Remember 2007 World Cup when he gave Tait full freedom to go out all guns blazing and not to worry about Economy? The Resut : Tait ended up as one of tournaments highest wicket takers. Sure thing he had a certain Mcgrath and Bracken as backup to cut run flow and Bhuvi/Shami might not be in the same league though but they are good enough to be trusted with couple of Economic Spells. Batting : Replace Dhawan with Gambhir!!

  • MagazineReader on August 2, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    Need to groom some solid test match players guys. Sad to see Vijay, Rohit, Dhawan, Raina, Ashwin, P.Ojha, Umesh not performing as expected in long term.

    Predictable Team future: Samson/Vijay, Dhavan/Gambir, Rahane, Gambhir/Pujara, , Raina, Virat, Jadeja/Mishra, Ashwin/Binny, Shami/Pankaj, Umesh/Bhuvi.

  • on August 2, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Bring back Harbhajan Singh

  • on August 2, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    In order for Ashwin to be effective in English conditions, there should be sustained pressure from the other end too. Moeen Ali got all those wickets for there was the relentless pair of Anderson and Broad from the other side. If they were loose, as in the case of the Lords test, Moeen would not have been effective. The batsmen relaxed against Moeen after being put under relentless pressure by Anderson and Broad and paid the price. The same logic applies to the Indian bowling line up too. Only sustained spells from both ends will have the desired effect. India can also swap Rohit Sharma for Naman Ohja who is in red hot form. Dhoni can swap gloves with him for a few sessions and also try rolling his arm over, if he wants to give a break to his regular bowlers.

  • on August 2, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain but lots of time he does things which majority of the people don't understand.. Ashwin is a good bowler and not only that he can also bat a bit and i an sure he could have done lot better then Moen Ali... know i think India is missed the chance once again and this will add to there bad record of overseas..

  • sreehk on August 2, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Absolutely spot on assessment by Crowe. Dhoni's reasoning sounds like lame excuses. Like we did not use 5th bowler, seeing Rohit Sharma as the rescuer, not having Aswin etc. His reasoning on 5th bowler is abjectly flawed. Firstly he did not select the right 5th bowler. Secondly, the selected bowler was not used properly. The first flaw is the impact or usage would certainly have been greater if Ashwin had been playing the 5th bowler. The later flaw it wasted one slot in the team by not using the player. The resultant is India lost the golden win advantage and two best bowlers are burned out mid-way through the series. Dhoni just broke Ishant and Bhuvi's backs and legs, and with it India's fate in the series. Selectors should look beyond Dhoni.

  • myStraightTalk on August 2, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    Thank you our next Indian coach.. Time for Dhoni to do a Kallis.

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on August 2, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    ashn didn't trouble the batters during the saffa and new zealand tour. from what i saw of him during one of the live matches, he seemed ineffective. surely india with 1.2 billion people can do better? i mean, his overseas record is terrible mate.

  • Amarjitmadan on August 2, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Fantastic read straight from heart with excellent cricketing errors and their solutions so appealing. From performance to behaviour is impeccably high lighted and supplementing the fact of wasting energies on issues that are passe and not concentrating on the game ahead to put up a better fight.Ashwin in no way should have been dropped at the cost of Binny who at this level is nothing and will be sent to hibernate after series. As regards Moen Ali he was certainly brought as a batsman who could bown but match with India has improved his strike rate from mid forties to 32 or so but he did bowl well against Sri Lanka and had a decent economy rate of 3.6 or so. I will prefer to both Ashwin and Jadeja and probably have a Mishra or Ohja.My team India will be, Vijay,Gambhir,Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Dhawan,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Varun,Bhuvi and Pankaj singh. Good luck to both teams and hope common sense prevails and they exhibit to spectators and viewers a gentleman's&p game.

  • on August 2, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Could not summarize the teams current state and Dhoni's poor team selection and his captaincy better. Yes Mr Crowe, please be our coach!

  • Kirk_Levin on August 2, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Lol, what is Ashwin expected to do? Perform miracles? Look at his overseas stats. He is not a good bowler and mostly does well at home on dust bowls.

  • jmcilhinney on August 2, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    Jadeja has had more than expected success against England in the past and I think this has encouraged India to persist with him as their only real spinner. I think that, much as England did with Moeen Ali, they figured that he would offer something with the bat and his bowling would be good enough on pitches more likely to assist fast bowlers. England's situation is quite different though. Moeen was picked as a specialist batsman and really just fell into the main spinner role because there's no real stand-out spinner in England right now. For India, Ashwin actually has a better average with the bat than Jadeja and is a genuine font-line spinner. I think it's highly likely that someone of his standard would have been selected for England if he was available.

  • on August 2, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Very sensible indeed. Be our coach Martin!

  • on August 2, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Very true. With loads of public comments on where is Ashwin, this article mirrors the mindsets of spectators for sure.

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  • on August 2, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Very true. With loads of public comments on where is Ashwin, this article mirrors the mindsets of spectators for sure.

  • on August 2, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Very sensible indeed. Be our coach Martin!

  • jmcilhinney on August 2, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    Jadeja has had more than expected success against England in the past and I think this has encouraged India to persist with him as their only real spinner. I think that, much as England did with Moeen Ali, they figured that he would offer something with the bat and his bowling would be good enough on pitches more likely to assist fast bowlers. England's situation is quite different though. Moeen was picked as a specialist batsman and really just fell into the main spinner role because there's no real stand-out spinner in England right now. For India, Ashwin actually has a better average with the bat than Jadeja and is a genuine font-line spinner. I think it's highly likely that someone of his standard would have been selected for England if he was available.

  • Kirk_Levin on August 2, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Lol, what is Ashwin expected to do? Perform miracles? Look at his overseas stats. He is not a good bowler and mostly does well at home on dust bowls.

  • on August 2, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Could not summarize the teams current state and Dhoni's poor team selection and his captaincy better. Yes Mr Crowe, please be our coach!

  • Amarjitmadan on August 2, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Fantastic read straight from heart with excellent cricketing errors and their solutions so appealing. From performance to behaviour is impeccably high lighted and supplementing the fact of wasting energies on issues that are passe and not concentrating on the game ahead to put up a better fight.Ashwin in no way should have been dropped at the cost of Binny who at this level is nothing and will be sent to hibernate after series. As regards Moen Ali he was certainly brought as a batsman who could bown but match with India has improved his strike rate from mid forties to 32 or so but he did bowl well against Sri Lanka and had a decent economy rate of 3.6 or so. I will prefer to both Ashwin and Jadeja and probably have a Mishra or Ohja.My team India will be, Vijay,Gambhir,Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Dhawan,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Varun,Bhuvi and Pankaj singh. Good luck to both teams and hope common sense prevails and they exhibit to spectators and viewers a gentleman's&p game.

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on August 2, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    ashn didn't trouble the batters during the saffa and new zealand tour. from what i saw of him during one of the live matches, he seemed ineffective. surely india with 1.2 billion people can do better? i mean, his overseas record is terrible mate.

  • myStraightTalk on August 2, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    Thank you our next Indian coach.. Time for Dhoni to do a Kallis.

  • sreehk on August 2, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Absolutely spot on assessment by Crowe. Dhoni's reasoning sounds like lame excuses. Like we did not use 5th bowler, seeing Rohit Sharma as the rescuer, not having Aswin etc. His reasoning on 5th bowler is abjectly flawed. Firstly he did not select the right 5th bowler. Secondly, the selected bowler was not used properly. The first flaw is the impact or usage would certainly have been greater if Ashwin had been playing the 5th bowler. The later flaw it wasted one slot in the team by not using the player. The resultant is India lost the golden win advantage and two best bowlers are burned out mid-way through the series. Dhoni just broke Ishant and Bhuvi's backs and legs, and with it India's fate in the series. Selectors should look beyond Dhoni.

  • on August 2, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain but lots of time he does things which majority of the people don't understand.. Ashwin is a good bowler and not only that he can also bat a bit and i an sure he could have done lot better then Moen Ali... know i think India is missed the chance once again and this will add to there bad record of overseas..