Despite being not among wickets, Ashwin continues to enjoy the support of his captain MS Dhoni and the team management.
Dhoni and the rest of the selection committee need to be questioned as to why Ashwin gets to feature in the Playing XI when he is not doing his job - pick wickets.
In the first ODI in Napier, Ashwin conceded 52 runs in 10 overs without a wicket. Today, he bowled eight overs with returns of 0/50.
In his last five ODIs (all outside India), including today's, he has taken only one wicket. Angry Indian fans attribute Dhoni's backing of Ashwin to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) connection.
According to statistician Mohandas Menon, since December 2013 tour of South Africa, Ashwin's combined bowling figures in Tests and ODIs is 88-5-379-1.
Since the South African tour in Dec 2013 R Ashwin's bowling figures in both Tests & ODIs 88-5-379-1 #NZvInd— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 22, 2014
If these numbers don't tell a story, then what will? Ashwin has not been the best spinner for India in overseas conditions.
So far in 72 ODIs, Ashwin has 96 victims, 55 of those on Indian pitches. He is yet to take a five-wicket haul in ODIs. His best is 3/24, also at home.
Dhoni needs to act quickly and axe Ashwin for the third ODI. It would be better to play a paceman or legspinner Amit Mishra.
Let Ashwin take a break and return as a better bowler. It will be good for himself and Indian cricket.
R Ashwin in last five ODIs
0/58 Vs South Africa (Johannesburg)
1/48 Vs SA (Durban)
0/63 Vs SA (Centurion)
0/52 Vs New Zealand (Napier)
0/50 Vs NZ (Hamilton)