~~Dravid-booster~~ for struggling Sehwag

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Rajkot:India captain Rahul Dravid today threw a lifeline to players like Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, currently struggling with their form, saying that past performance will be a factor while choosing the team for the World Cup in the West Indies.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Dravid said his boys would not have added pressure in the second cricket one-dayer against Sri Lanka here tomorrow 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 said.

''When you pick the World Cup squad you need to look at the combination you might play in the West Indies, on 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.

''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,'' Dravid said.

''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,'' he said.

On Agarkar, Dravid said the wiry pacer felt flat after bowling in the nets today but had the best chance to play among the three doubtful starters.

Ideally, we would have liked the guys to play as much as possible but sometimes we cannot control the circumstances, Dravid said, adding ''I don't think it will really hamper our World Cup selection. 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 as far as Yuvraj was concerned the team was happy that he had got over his more serious knee ligament tear injury and the latest back problem was only a minor one and was taking longer than expected to heal.

''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,'' he said.

Asked whether he favoured two wicket-keepers for the World Cup, Dravid said he was for taking the best 15.

''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,'' he said.


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