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Chawla defends WC selection

New Delhi: Piyush Chawla`s inclusion in India`s World Cup squad has raised many eyebrows, but the leg-spinner today defended his selection by saying that he has nothing to prove to his critics and if given a chance his performance will speak for itself in the mega-event.

"There is always pressure when you play for India. And when there is pressure there is performance. I have nothing to prove as I have proved myself a number of times and I will do it again in the World Cup," Chawla said during a promotional event here, which was also attended by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and team-mates Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan.

Chawla, who has represented India in just two ODIs since July 2008 – the last one being the fifth and final match against South Africa in Centurion last month, added that whenever provided an opportunity he has given his best for the country.

India skipper Dhoni also justified Chawla`s selection in the squad, saying he brings in more variety to the bowling attack.

"Piyush was out of the team for quite some time but he has consiostently played and proved himself in the domestic matches. It will help the team in the World Cup," Dhoni said when asked about Chawla`s surprise inclusion.

"I am happy with the squad. We have got variation in our bowling department," he added.

India`s 15-member World Cup squad consists of three spinners with other two being veteran Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandaran Ashwin.

Interestingly, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who has been consistent in the past against quality opposition and was a tried and tested option, was completely ignored by the selectors for the mega-event, starting in Dhaka from February 19.

Many had contended that Ojha, being a left-armer, would have complemented Harbhajan in a better way than Chawla.

Chawla lost his place in the Indian ODI team in 2008 after playing against Pakistan at Karachi. The Aligarh-born cricketer has made his Test debut against England at Mohali in 2006.

Chawla played his first ODI against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2007.

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