Debutant Amit Mishra got 7 of the 20 Australian wickets in Mohali, 5 of them in the first innings which really set up the victory for India. This against the top team in the world, and on a flat, easy batting wicket. But he didn't get the man-of-the-match award. Worse, he can't even be sure of being included in the team for the next Test in Delhi. Instead, a bowler who has averaged 46 runs per wicket in the last 11 Test matches, and bowled 50 wicketless overs in the first Test, is "raring to go" as he puts it himself in his signed column. This is the problem with Indian cricket. We're stuck with players who can walk into the team on the basis of past records, rather than current form and fitness. Is it more important to squeeze a few more games out of a 38-year-old bowler who has already got 18 years of international cricket under his belt, or to encourage a bowler who has shown the potential to serve Indian cricket for the next 10 years? Don't you think India might have won the Bangalore Test or even the series in Sri Lanka if Mishra had played instead of Kumble?
Even if Mishra gets to play in Delhi, I suspect he will be forced to play third fiddle to the KumBha mela, and that can only be to the advantage of the Australians, who clearly have no clue to his googly. And if Laxman is dropped to accommodate Kumble, that might be just the opening the Aussies need to come back in this series because it would weaken the Indian batting. Is it more important to figure out how Kumble can be accommodated, or to decide what is the best way to ensure India wins the series? Why are the interests of an individual taking precedence over those of the team? If you factor in the captaincy, where Dhoni is clearly way ahead of Kumble, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.
More on this in an article I wrote a couple of days back: India's Diwali gift to Ponting