Pathan needs to prove fitness ahead of World Cup

Published: Friday, February 23, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Irfan Pathan will have to convince the selectors of his fitness during the Deodhar Trophy game between West Zone and Central Zone, to be played at Ahmedabad tomorrow, if he wants to make it to the World Cup squad, chairman of selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar said.

Vengsarkar, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to officially announce Johnnie Walkers' sponsorship of the World Cup, said if the selectors did not find him fit enough in the match, then he would be replaced by some other player in the 15-member squad, which will leave for West Indies on March 1.

Vengsarkar said it was only the fitness aspect which the selectors will be looking at and not his actual performance in the Deodhar Trophy match.

''Irfan has played only one match in the last month and he had declared himself unfit for the Sri Lankan one-day series. Now, that he has declared himself fit, we want to check on his actual fitness,'' he noted.

Speaking about the World Cup, Vengsarkar refused to name any one team as favourite and said on a given day, the team that does well will win.

The former India captain, however, felt that Australia has lost the invincibility factor and now with their main bowlers like Brett Lee, who is injured along with Andrew Symonds, will struggle.

''It is a known fact which will be true in the World Cup also that bowlers win matches and Australia will be without their top bowlers. Glen McGrath will be there, but at the age of 37, how effective he will be remains to be seen,'' Vengsarkar added.


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