The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Selectors may still keep faith in current 15
- World Cup squad Virender Sehwag, Irfan pathan come under late pressure

Rajkot: Team India physio John Gloster is understood to have informally communicated to the Board that Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan will soon be “fully fit” and, so, there’s absolutely no cause for concern over their availability for the forthcoming World Cup.

Last week, Yuvraj developed a back problem, while Pathan has had a problem with his bowling shoulder. Both couldn’t play the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka.

While there’s no doubt over Yuvraj’s selection in the West Indies- bound squad of 15, some in positions of decision-making have begun wondering whether a strong enough argument can be made to include Pathan.

That’s a late-on-Sunday development, around 12 hours before Dilip Vengsarkar and Co. meet in Mumbai. According to The Telegraph’s sources, some with influence have also begun to ‘focus’ on Virender Sehwag.

“It’s assumed that he’s going to the World Cup, but I’m not so sure because of talk that has begun to do the rounds,” one of the sources pointed out. Sehwag, however, is assured of captain Rahul Dravid’s backing.

In fact, if a poll was conducted, just about everybody in the Team India dressing room would favour Sehwag’s selection for a tournament such as the World Cup. It’s unlikely that he will be excluded (even though he managed no more than 19 on his comeback here), but if the selectors take that decision, then Suresh Raina stands to benefit.

As for Pathan, if he doesn’t make the cut, Rudra Pratap Singh may well be the beneficiary.

Assuming both Sehwag and Pathan do get picked, the World Cup 15 is then going to be the same as the one selected for the first two ODIs of the ongoing series.

“The mood can still veer around to not making any change... However, it may not be an easy meeting... Initially, yes, nobody was keen on looking outside this group (of 15),” another source revealed.

The second ODI was watched by two selectors — chairman Vengsarkar and Sanjay Jagdale. Both left for Mumbai by the late evening flight. Also on board that Jet Airways service were Dravid and coach Greg Chappell, who was apparently furious at the five-run defeat.

THE likely SQUAD

(if all are fit)

Batsmen: Rahul Dravid (capt.), Sachin Tendulkar (vice-capt.), Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik (also second 'keeper), Robin Uthappa.

First choice wicketkeeper: Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Spinners: Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh.

Medium-pacers: Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel.

Dark horses: Suresh Raina, Rudra Pratap Singh.

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