WC team is 'best possible combination'

Chennai: After announcing the 15-member squad for the forthcoming World Cup, selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth today said that the selectors have picked the best possible combination for the quadrennial event, to be held in the sub-continent from February 19 to April 2.

Srikkanth and his selection team of Yashpal Sharma, Surendra Bhave, Narendra Hirwani and Raja Venkat met here this morning to select the squad, with a hope that it will end India's 28-year-old drought. The only time they won the tournament was way back in 1983.

Srikkanth said this team will end India's 28-year-long wait by winning the sport's biggest event at home.

"This is the best possible winning combination we have picked up and it will win us the World Cup. We (selectors) engaged in thorough discussion at the meeting here before finalising the squad. Taking into account all the conditions like wickets, the opposition we will be playing, the selectors have chosen a very well balanced team," said Srikkanth.

Tamil Nadu spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Piyush Chawla were named in the squad to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which also includes star players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.

But Mumbai's Rohit Sharma and Kerala pacer S Sreesanth were omitted from the squad.

The chief selector said the reason behind picking up three specialist spinners were the turning tracks in India.

"Don't forget that you are playing in India. The spinners probably play a very major role on the turning wickets. I am confident that the kind of balance we have, the kind of batting line-up we have, this cricket team led by M S Dhoni and others will do the job for us.

"This particular Indian team is doing brilliantly for the past couple of years in both Test and ODI cricket. They are playing consistently not only in India but outside. We are confident this team will do well and win the World Cup for us in front of the home crowd," he added.

Srikkanth said there is going to be a lot of pressure on the players given that the mega-event is taking place in the sub-continent.

"There is a lot of pressure playing in India and the sub-continent. There is going to be tremendous amount of pressure on players and selectors. This team will repeat the 1983 feat again and win us the World Cup.

"The golden moment for us (selectors) will come when India win the World Cup in April. We Indians take pride in winning anything big related to cricket. Why not World Cup in 2011. That belief has to come not only from players but from the people of this nation also," the chief selector said.

Asked about injury concerns, Srikkanth said these are part and parcel of the game.

"Injury is a part of cricket, part of life. They will always remain. It's time to move ahead and talk positive," he added.

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