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'Nucleus of World Cup team identified'

Chappell says he will keep on giving chances to young players keeping in mind the 2007 World Cup.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 15:38 IST

The nucleus of the Indian cricket team for the 2007 World Cup has been identified— and several youngsters will be given the opportunity to vie for the remaining slots, says coach Greg Chappell.

Several promising pacers like Vikram Rajvir Singh, Munaf Patel and Sreesanth, as also off-spinner Ramesh Powar, would be scrutinised in the upcoming series against England, South Africa and the West Indies to finalise the World Cup squad by early next year, he added.

"We have identified some bowlers, but at this stage we haven't been able to use them for various reasons," Chappell said.

"The nucleus is there for the sort of squad that we will need for the World Cup. It's just a matter of giving them opportunities. By the end of the year, we will have a pretty good idea what the squad will be," he maintained.

Currently touring Pakistan with the Indian team, Chappell said that when Indian tours the West Indies in April-May he and the players would get a chance to see the conditions and pitches that they would get for the World Cup, to be held in the Caribbean islands in March-April 2007.

"We will hopefully be able to take (to the West Indies) the majority of players under scrutiny for the World Cup, so that they get opportunities under the conditions that the World Cup will be played in," he said.

"But there won't be the finalisation of the World Cup squad until the early next year. We will try as many players and as many combinations as we can."

A former Australia captain, Chappell said his search to find a few genuine quick bowlers had resulted in identifying a few and they would be tried out in the home series against England starting later this month.

"The search has been reasonably successful. Unfortunately, we have had injury problems with different bowlers. We need to have them fit and we need to select them when the opportunities arise," he maintained.

"Two or three promising bowlers" have been short-listed.

"We have got the nucleus that can do well under most conditions. Sreesanth (touring Pakistan) and Vikram Rajvir Singh (of Punjab) is an exciting prospect. Munaf Patel (of Mumbai/Baroda) is going to play at least one of the games against England. He is a promising young fast bowler," the coach stressed.

India need to keep looking for and identifying the areas thatthey need to strengthen and it would then be for the selectors to pick them, he added.

"It will be fine-tuning the whole time," he pointed out.

Chappell, who took over the reins in May last year, is also happy with improvement shown by the side in fielding. "Yes, it has (improved), particularly the one-day side. It's not for all men who are mobile. It's a young man's game, who can chase hard, throw hard, stop balls, catch balls," he emphasised.

"We have got the nucleus of a good fielding team.

Again, we can always get better," he said.

Chappell is satisfied with the batsmen's performance as well.