| Parthiv: Berth officially confirmed
Calcutta: Skipper Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright’s views prevailed at the selection committee meeting this afternoon. The five national selectors did not wish to experiment with the World Cup XV and went for continuity at the mega event.
Predictably, V.V.S. Laxman alone got the chop and Sanjay Bangar and Ajit Agarkar kept their places. Parthiv Patel also earned a berth.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi, tipped as the dark horse by The Telegraph, was the only other player discussed at the meeting as a possible replacement for Agarkar.
Deep Dasgupta never featured in the selectors’ discussion.
The meeting, which started a little after 3 pm and lasted for less than an hour, began with a briefing by BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya to chief selector Brijesh Patel and his colleagues — Kirti Azad, Pranab Roy, Kiran More and Sanjay Jagdale — followed by a teleconference with Sourav and Wright.
Dalmiya’s message to the selectors was clear at the outset — not much of experimentation. It hardly took much time to decide on the squad once the teleconference concluded.
The selectors also dealt with the Indian team’s performance in New Zealand with the captain and the coach.
The squad consists six survivors from the 1999 World Cup in England — Sourav, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Jawagal Srinath, Agarkar and Anil Kumble. In fact, this will be the fourth World Cup for Sachin and Srinath.
For Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Parthiv, Dinesh Mongia, Sanjay Bangar and Ashish Nehra the 2003 edition will be their maiden appearance.