Four veterans — Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh — were omitted from India’s World Cup 30-member probables list which includes young spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
Another seasoned cricketer Gautam Gambhir has also been left out with the selectors reposing faith on the young guns to retain the title in Australia and New Zealand.
The decision to ignore the veteran players, who were a part of the 2011 World Cup winning team along with Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir, has put a question mark on their future given that none of the five have featured in an ODI for the last one year.
Apart from the famed five, pacers Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel, spinner Piyush Chawla and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan were also among the players axed from the list announced by Board of Control of India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee.
Apart from Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool and batting duo of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav benefitted from the overhaul, riding on their consistent performance in the domestic circuit.
With the selectors opting to ignore seniors, there were no major surprises on offer in the list of probables.
The selectors included all-rounder Stuart Binny and in-form batsman Manoj Tiwary and young wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson in the list which would be further pruned to 15 on January 7, five weeks ahead of the World Cup starting February 14.
Eleven players from the 2011 World Cup-winning squad will not be seen in action when the team goes Down Under to defend the trophy. While most of them have been ignored for poor form, Sachin Tendulkar has retired and pacer S Sreesanth has been banned for spot-fixing.
Of all the players ignored, Yuvraj’s journey has been the most dramatic. The left-handed batsman was named Player of the Tournament for his fantastic run in the 2011 World Cup but his career took a hit after he had to undergo treatment for rare form of germ cell cancer between his lungs.
His attempts at a comeback were not too successful and he was eventually pushed to the sidelines.
Of the selected players, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja picked themselves after delivering consistently.
Among the bowlers, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Sharma and Ashoke Dinda got the selectors’ nod by virtue of their fine performances in both the international and domestic circuit.
Apart from Dhoni, the list has two wicketkeepers in Wriddhiman Saha and young Sanju Samson, who has also impressed with his batting in the domestic arena.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who is regarded a Test specialist, Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Karthik and Naman Ojha were among the other notable omissions.
Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa, who have been in and out of the national squad in recent times have also found a place in the probables list.
India World Cup probables: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson, R Ashwin, Parveez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashoke Dinda, Kuldeep Yadav and Murali Vijay.