Vengsarkar hopes all players are available for selection

March 8th, 2008 - 9:33 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Chief national cricket selector Dilip Vengsarkar said Saturday that he was not aware of any report by the Indian team’s physiotherapist on the fitness of players after the Australian tour, but he hoped all would be available for selection for the home series against South Africa later this month. Many players are apparently nursing niggling injuries or wear and tear after the arduous Australian tour during which India triumphed in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series and lost the Test series 1-2.

Vengsarkar told IANS that secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India is the best man to talk about physio’s report and hoped all players are available for selection.

Shah could not be contacted as he is still in Australia.

Vengsarkar said the team for the first Test would be selected March 17 in Bangalore and they could even name the team for two Tests.

The first Test starts March 26 in Chennai.

Test specialists Rahul Dravid, captain Anil Kumble, V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Rudra Pratap Singh and Vikram Rajvir Singh, besides a few other players have visited the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy (NCA) for their fitness tests.

Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan is in South Africa for treatment of his heel injury and he also has to undergo fitness test before the selection committee meeting.

A number of players, including Sachin Tendulkar and Ishant Sharma, the stars of the tour, have reportedly been advised injury-specific treatment and compulsory rest by team physiotherapist John Gloster who has quit at the end of the tour down-under.

Tendulkar, however, told reporters in Mumbai that he had played the last match in Australia and that he is fit.

When contacted NCA administrative manager K.R. Nair declined to give details of what the specialists had reported, saying that all players have left for their hometowns.

“Yes, players have been coming here in batches for the fitness test. But I am not authorised to speak on the subject,” Nair said.

“I can only tell you R.P. Singh and Ganguly took the fitness test today and they and others have left Bangalore,” he said.

Newly recruited NCA trainer coach Paul Chapman and physiotherapist Paul Close conducted the fitness tests.

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