When Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad were rested after the first two one day internationals of the current series against New Zealand there was some talk that Anil Kumble too might be given a rest. After all he too is expected to be one of the key bowlers who will have to do a lot of work on the forthcoming tour of Australia. The ace Indian spinner however played in the third match of the series in Gwalior and took two wickets for 38 off eight overs. Following this, it was taken for granted that he would continue to be a member of the team for the remaining two games in Guwahati and New Delhi.
So the announcement in Mumbai on Thursday evening that Uttar Pradesh left arm spinner Gyanendra Pandey would replace Kumble in the Indian squad for the matches in Guwahati and New Delhi came as a bit of a surprise. According to reports, Kumble has been rested. But the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India JY Lele raised fresh questions when he said that ``it is the selectors' decision. I don't know if Kumble has asked for a rest.'' The other surprise is the choice of Pandey for there is already a left arm spin bowler in Sunil Joshi in the squad. Obviously one of them will have to sit out.