Sachin of Najafgarh owes it to Dravid, Sachin does not

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:If it was not skipper Rahul Dravid's unwavering support, the swashbuckling 'Sachin of Najafgarh' would have been sitting at home.

This was revealed by the Chairman of the BCCI Selection Committee Dilip Vengsarkar in an Interview to CNN-IBN.

However, batting mastero Sachin Tendulkar's appointment as vice captain was made without consulting the skipper.

Virender Sehwag, known for his merciless decimation of bowlers of all hues, was on the verge of being dropped from the World Cup squad but Rahul Dravid made it amply clear that he needs the Delhi player come what may.

''If Rahul had not insisted Sehwag would not have gone for the World Cup. However, I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Sehwag performs at the showpiece event,'' he told Karan Thapar in Devil's Advocate programme.

The former Indian captain candidly admitted that Sehwag was picked in the team only 'because of Dravid'.

Vengsarkar also spilled more beans with regards to the composition of the squad which has already landed in the picturesque Caribbean island.

Commenting on the selection of Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh despite not being fully fit, Vengsarkar said, ''They were picked up because they have great experience and a great track record.''

With regard to Tendulkar's appointment as vice captain, Vengsarkar explained that there was no other option for the selectors.

''However, this was done without consulting Dravid,'' he added.

Describing Romesh Powar's exclusion as ''very unlucky'', he regretted that the spinner could not find a place in the team.

About Mohd Kaif, the 'Colonel' said the Uttar Pradesh player was a great fielder but his batting is a concern form which is why he was not picked.

Pinning high hopes on the team's performance, Vengsarkar said he would be disappointed if India does not make it to the semifinals.

But keeping in view the passion which the game triggers in the country, he had an advise for the fans, ''this is only a game and we must take it in the right sporting spirit.''

Conceding the fact that India might face fielding problems in the Caribbean, the chairman of the selection committee said, ''There was nothing the selectors could do about this. We have picked up the best team possible.''

Vengsarkar, who never flinches from calling a spade a spade, said team coach Greg Chappell has only been ''reasonably successful''.

He was however of the opinion that the Australian should be retained as coach after the World Cup.

He also admitted that under him - as compared to his predecessor Kiran More - the philosophy of team selection had altered.

''Now experience is an important factor in choosing the team.'' The former skipper also expressed concern about the lack of new talent. ''I have alerted the BCCI, but so far they have not done anything.''


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