Anil Kumble wonders on what basis he's been dropped © Getty Images

Disturbed about his exclusion from the one-day side after playing two games in the Indian Oil Cup in Sri Lanka, Anil Kumble has asked if different standards are used to measure different players.

Aggrieved enough to refer to himself in the third person, Kumble said to the Times of India, "It's a bit strange this happens only to a few players like Laxman, Anil. People expect me to take five wickets every time I bowl. That's not possible. As long as there is the same scale for everyone, it's fine, but..."

While Kumble's Test form has improved dramatically, his one-day record has not been as noteworthy. In his last 30 games, Kumble has claimed 28 wickets at 42.10. But the 30 have been scattered, with instances of hurried selections and hasty rests, followed by calls for his retirement from one-dayers. "For the last one-and-a-half years people have been asking me this question," he said. "Do they mean to say that I should stop playing one-dayers? Isn't it my prerogative to decide?"

The secretary of the Indian board, SK Nair, explained the dropping of Kumble and VVS Laxman: "The selectors felt they would be more useful in the Tests. Their recent record in one-day matches was also considered before selecting the side." He attributed Zaheer Khan's exclusion to the same reason. As for Lakshmipathy Balaji, who had done little wrong, Nair said that he had been rested to give others a chance on what he hinted was an ideal tour to experiment.

Sourav Ganguly, assigned the captaincy for only the tour of Zimbabwe after what was reported to be a narrow selection vote in his favour, said that the two separate teams chosen for the one-day and Test series were the board's decision. He refused to speak about the high-profile exclusions, telling the Hindustan Times (HT) that it "doesn't matter who is [in] the team and who isn't. The team has to deliver." Asked specifically about Kumble, he replied, "That's for the selectors to answer. I'm happy with the selection."

Meanwhile, asked about Ganguly's return as captain, Virender Sehwag said, "I think he is the best choice. It is not easy to comment on the issue. However, I think whatever the selectors have decided is based on past performance and while taking into account what is best for the team. Ganguly has been the most successful skipper for India, this speaks for itself."

Also satisfied with the team selection was Ajit Agarkar, who made his seventh return to the Indian team. "I was always hopeful of a recall to the Indian team," he said to HT and later told the Indian Express that "not being picked [for the Indian Oil Cup] did hurt a lot."