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Chappell backs youngsters to deliver

The Indian coach is backing the selection process that will pit a youthful squad against an experienced England side in the first Test.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 16:01 IST

India coach Greg Chappell is backing the selection process that will pit a youthful squad against an experienced England side in the first Test of their three-match series starting in Nagpur on Wednesday.

"I think the selection committee has made a decision along the lines of what we have seen with the one-day side," hesaid.

"The energy and the application the young boys have brought to the one-day squad have been encouraging for everyone.

"It is all part of the policy to regenerate the team," the former Australia captain added.

"While we have got some experienced players, we need to be able to bring young players in and let them work their way in and get some experience and learn from the seniors."

In picking the squad for the Nagpur Test, the Indian selectors made the bold move of dropping former captain Sourav Ganguly as well as regular bowlers Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan.

Drafted into the side are uncapped fast bowler Vikram Rajvir Singh and 17-year-old leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, while seamer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and batsman Suresh Raina were both rewarded for exceptional one-day form with Test match selection.

Since taking over last September, Chappell has transformed the one-day side with the introduction of talented young players, who have also helped improve the standard of fielding.


India have won 12 of their last 16 one-day internationals, thrashing Sri Lanka 6-1 at home last year and easing to a 4-1 series win in Pakistan this month, helping lift morale after losing the Test series.

"Everybody has to start somewhere," Chappell said. "You don't get experience sitting on the sidelines. It is important that they get picked when they are ready.

Indian selectors are keen to offer young players enough opportunities to gain experience in the build-up to next year's World Cup in West Indies.

"We have a fair bit of experience in the bowling line-up with (Irfan) Pathan, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, so I am not unduly concerned," Chappell added.

"We worked out that we need some pace and we need some bounce and we looked to some young bowlers to provide that for us."

Although India have not won a Test series against a major side away from the sub-continent since 1986, Chappell is not concerned.

"We have not been unsuccessful in Tests," he said.

"We won a Test series against Sri Lanka at home recently and we had a very close series in Pakistan.

"The infusion of youth and enthusiasm will help take us forward in our process of reinvigorating our Test team."

First Published: Feb 26, 2006 14:18 IST