Mohali: Thanks to his sensational debut, Haryana leggie Amit Mishra retained his place as the selectors on Monday named an unchanged Indian squad for the final two Tests against Australia.

The 25-year-old Mishra’s sterling performance in fact jeopardised Kumble’s comeback in the side and the team think-tank would have an unenviable job when they decide to pick the playing XI for the Delhi Test starting October 29.

Though S. Badrinath, R.P. Singh and Munaf Patel retained their place in the squad, their chances of breaking into the playing XI looks slim.

In the middle order, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly have done well in the series so far with only V.V.S. Laxman looking little off-colour.

In the bowling department also, Zaheer Khan has been outstanding with his reverse swing while Ishant Sharma has made life difficult for the Australians.

Earlier, Chief selector Krish Srikkanth was also effusive in his praise for the chubby Haryana leggie and said Amit had lived up to the selectors’ expectations.

“Now we know we have more options and our effort would be to ensure that the best Indian team walks out to play,” Srikkanth said.

“When we named him in the squad, people wondered where he came from. He has answered that today. He is a brave bowler, has a big heart and has a quiet confidence about him. We took into account his past records.”

Meanwhile, with the young leg-spinner staying back for the final two Test matches, Delhi spinner Chetanya Nanda will replace him in the Challenger Series, BCCI Secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement.

The squad: Anil Kumble (captain), M.S. Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, R.P. Singh, S. Badrinath, Munaf Patel. — PTI

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