Dilip Vengsarkar, the former Indian captain who's currently the head of the national selection committee, has issued a stern warning to allrounder Irfan Pathan, saying he would be dropped from the World Cup squad unless he proved his match fitness in Sunday's Deodhar Trophy game in Ahmedabad.
Pathan, whose decline has been a major talking point, declared himself fit from his sore shoulder injury on Thursday but Vengsarkar made it clear that Pathan's performance for West Zone would be watched with keen interest by the selectors.
"I would be there with other selectors to watch Irfan's overall performance and if we are not convinced of his fitness he will not go to the World Cup," Vengsarkar was quoted by PTI. "We have not yet thought of any replacement, but it will be done in consultation with the captain [Rahul Dravid] and coach [Greg Chappell].
"Irfan has not played for almost a month after picking up a freak shoulder injury. He has played only one match [against the West Indies at his hometown Vadodara on January 31]. He then missed the entire series against Sri Lanka. The Deodhar Trophy match offers the best chance for him to get back among the wickets and prove his fitness."
Vengsarkar also said that only the selectors will be there to judge Pathan's fitness and not team physio John Gloster. Bhupinder Singh Sr and Ranjib Biswal are likely to be the other selectors with Vengsarkar for the opening Deodhar clash.