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Past performance will count: Dravid
February 10, 2007 15:48 IST
Skipper Rahul Dravid on Saturday virtually gave the thumbs up for the struggling Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan for a berth in India's World Cup squad, saying that past performance will be a factor while choosing the team for the mega event.
Dravid said there would not be added pressure on any player in the second one-day international against Sri Lanka in Rajkot on Sunday as none would be judged on one performance.
"We don't view this match as an added pressure because of the World Cup selection meeting [in Mumbai on Monday]. We are not going to judge our World Cup team based on performance in just one or two games," Dravid told a pre-match media conference at the Madhavrao Scindia ground.
"When you pick the World Cup squad you need to look at the combination you might play in the West Indies, on the conditions there, the records of the players in the past.
"You have to base your judgement on a lot of things and not on performance in one game. From that point of view, it's not really a factor," he said.
While Sehwag, who was not picked for the entire series of four matches against the West Indies recently, did not get a chance to bat or bowl in the rained-out first ODI at Kolkata, Pathan has done precious little to enhance his claims after being recalled to the team following his poor display in South Africa.
Sehwag would play in the middle order tomorrow, with Dravid making it clear that Sourav Ganguly and Robin Uthappa would open the innings.
Pathan, however, is still nursing a sore shoulder of the bowling arm and is doubtful for tomorrow's tie along with Yuvraj Singh, who is down with a back problem, and the indisposed Ajit Agarkar, according to Dravid. All the three players had missed the first one-dayer also.
"We are still concerned about the boys in terms of fitness. They practiced a little bit today and it's a question of how they pull up tomorrow morning.
"We are especially concerned about Irfan and Yuvraj. Ajit too has to recover from his bout of flu. There are a few concerns [over the trio's fitness] and we will make a call in the morning," said Dravid, while adding he is not in a position to announce the 12.
On Agarkar, he said that the wiry pacer felt flat after bowling in the nets today but had the best chance to play amongst the three doubtful starters.
"Ideally we would have liked the guys to play as much as possible but sometimes we cannot control the circumstances.
"I don't think it will really hamper our World Cup selection. We are not going to make judgements on people who have played for a long while based on one innings or two.
"For getting our combination [final eleven] it may be a little bit of an irritant. But I would rather have a few injuries now than in the World Cup," he said.
Dravid said that as far as Yuvraj is concerned the team is happy that he had got over his more serious knee ligament tear injury and the latest back problem is only a minor one.
"The concern over Yuvraj's fitness for the World Cup was about his knee. That was the major injury," the Indian captain explained.
"We are very happy with his development. His knee has not been a problem at all and is fine.
"The back problem is an unfortunate one, but is not a serious injury. We have done all the scans.
"It's just a sort of an irritating niggle and is taking a little bit more time than expected to heal. I don't think that should be a factor in his selection for the World Cup."
Asked whether he favoured taking two wicketkeepers to the World Cup, Dravid said that he is just looking at taking the best 15 players.
"I am in favour of taking the best 15 and if that means your second wicket keeper is a good batsman and if the selectors feel he can get into the team as a batsman it's an added bonus.
"Dinesh Karthik has shown good potential with the bat and he is selecting himself almost as a batsman. He is batting really well.
"That he can keep wickets is an added advantage and that he fields really well adds to his claims. All these things add up when the selectors sit down to choose the squad," he said.
Looking forward to the match Dravid said that the wickets in Rajkot are pretty good to bat on generally and the one for tomorrow's tie too appeared to be a good batting track.
"Hopefully our bowlers will bowl well and if they do so I am confident we can win the match. Our strategy will always be to try and win the series," he said.
Sri Lanka in India 2007: The Complete Coverage
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