The selectors of the Board of Control for Cricket in India sat down on Thursday to pick the Indian squad for the tour of Sri Lanka, and there were no headline-grabbing surprises.
But, former India bowler Ajit Agarkar was rather surprised to see spinner Amit Mishra, who last played for the country in 2011 against England, back in the team.
"Yes, calling back Amit Mishra has surprised me. Like Harbhajan Singh, they have gone back to another spinner who has been around for a long time. The worrying aspect of it is that there is no new spinner on the horizon - which is very worrying," Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo.
With it, Agarkar also brought into picture the dearth of new spinners coming through the ranks for India. It is Karn Sharma's injury, which helped Mishra gain a Test spot, feels Agarkar.
"Mishra has been around for long time, served in domestic cricket, fell out of favour in Test cricket because he was little bit slow in the air and on the pitch. Karn Sharma is injured. That prompted them to get an experienced guy. And to not have a new spinner with thousands of cricketers playing in India is more worrisome aspect than picking Amit Mishra," he said.
But the selectors might also have been keeping a close watch on the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series, where Pakistan leggie Yasir Shah troubled the Sri Lanka batsmen. The Pakistan spinner played an important role in helping his team turn victorious, and the selectors are probably expecting the same from Mishra, who is also a leg-break bowler like Shah.
"You don't need someone's [Yasir Shah's] performance to necessarily boost your confidence. I am always confident about myself when I bowl well. I am in good form and performing well, so I am confident. But yes, what is important is to adapt to the conditions quickly," PTI quoted MIshra as saying.
Mishra is not a guaranteed starter in the Test matches, with India already possessing Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan. With Ashwin expected to be an automatic first-choice, Mishra will face stiff competition from Harbhajan, who has been bowling decently of late for India. Harbhajan was included in India's team for the Bangladesh and Zimbabwe tour.
India will play three Test matches against Sri Lanka, with the first Test starting on 12 August at the Galle International stadium.