Nottingham: Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has lashed out at the Indian team management's decision to drop Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing XI comparing the treatment meted out to the off-spinner to a "wheelie bin dumped on the side of the road".
"Someone please explain why R Ashwin is now a spectator? Frankly, he would be my fourth automatic pick after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in this Indian Test team. He is a banker, yet he is being treated like a robber. He is being treated like a wheelie bin, dumped on the side of the road. Instead, Stuart Binny is deemed the better Test player," Crowe wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.
Crowe didn't mince words in his column stating Ravindra Jadeja's left-arm spin as "nothing short of ordinary".
"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," the 51-year-old veteran of 77 Tests and 143 ODIs said.
He went to the extent of saying that Jadeja's inclusion in the playing XI "smacks of something extremely odd".
"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," Crowe said.
He was even less charitable on Stuart Binny, who has been handed a Test cap.
"To bank on Binny's bowling is only going to stir Geoffrey Boycott into referring to his grandmother again and again," Crowe sarcastically wrote about the Karnataka all-rounder.
For Crowe, the Indian team should pick specialists rather than bits and pieces players in order to harbour hopes of a series win against England.
"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," Crowe said.