'Why Ashwin has not been picked so far is a mystery to me?'
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar advocated the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav as the sixth specialist batsman in the fourth Test against England, starting on September 2.
India lost the third Test by an innings and 76 runs but skipper Virat Kohli despite the consistent failures of the middle-order is bullish about playing five specialist bowlers.
"I don't like to sound as if it's a knee-jerk reaction but I firmly believe we need to strengthen our batting line-up by including Suryakumar Yadav ahead of Hanuma Vihari. We should drop a bowler and go in with six batsmen," former national selection committee chief Vengsarkar said.
Infact, Vengsarkar's comments also aligned with another Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar who has also supported the six batsman theory.
Vengsarkar believes that Suryakumar, who has a 44-plus average in first-class cricket, has the talent and temperament to make a difference for India in Test cricket.
"Surya can match (in terms of skills) with the best in this Indian team and since he is around for sometime now he should be included before it's too late," he said.
The 30-year-old Suryakumar, who has had an impressive white ball debut this year was called up for the England Tests along with fellow Mumbai player Prithvi Shaw following injuries to Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar.
The 65-year-old Vengsarkar, a veteran of 116 Tests, also seemed baffled as to why senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was not included in the first three Tests.
"Why Ashwin has not been picked so far is a mystery to me?" Vengsarkar stated.
"You leave out your best spinner out of the playing eleven to me is hard to digest."
"India will have to play with four bowlers and six batsmen if they have to win the remaining games," added Vengsarkar, who has 6,868 Test runs with 17 hundreds to his name.