Much ado about nothing

Principal Correspondent

Dhaka: The omission of leg-spinner Amit Mishra from the second Test has stirred up an unsavoury speculation.

Mishra had a match-haul of seven wickets in the first Test at Chittagong. According to highly placed sources, the decision to drop Mishra was taken on the match’s eve on Saturday.

The team-management wanted to have another look at left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha ahead of the two-Test series against South Africa at Nagpur and Kolkata in February.

Since Harbhajan Singh had regained his fitness and was an automatic selection, the decision to drop Mishra was taken and the playing eleven was finalised during the team-meeting on Saturday.

Inadvertently, when the list was written down, Mishra’s name was retained. The gaffe was noticed on Sunday morning ahead of the toss and his name was scratched out and replaced with Ojha.

The same sheet was circulated among the press and soon insinuations did the rounds that there was no cricketing angle to the omission and there were baseless allegations that the swap between Mishra and Ojha was done because of the ‘apparent rift’ between captain M.S. Dhoni and his deputy Virender Sehwag.

The Indian team-management is upset with this needless speculation and sources said that Mishra’s omission was a cricketing-decision.

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