Lucky Selections in Indian Cricket World Cup Squads: India’s 15-member World Cup squad bears a familiar look with hardly any surprises. The selectors have followed a tried and tested path with the team. It seems a safe selection with hardly any rookie players or X-factors being counted in. This was the 15 that many fans and experts saw coming even if they might not agree with it entirely.
To be fair to the selectors, they have given all the names in the squad a long enough run to prove themselves. There are one or two lucky names to be present on that sheet, we look at few such lucky selections over the years.
Lucky Selections in Indian Cricket World Cup Squads
#5 Suryakumar Yadav, 2023 World Cup
He is arguably the only member of the World Cup side who hasn’t played a match winning ODI knock. Suryakumar Yadav is a proven performer in the T20I format. He is the world’s number one ranked T20I batter. But his numbers in ODIs paint a sorry picture. In 24 ODI innings he has scored a mere 511 runs at an average of 24.3 with a highest score of 64.
He was competing with Sanju Samson who averages 55.7 in 12 ODI innings. Samson has every right to feel unlucky considering SKY has been picked on potential rather than performance. He is mighty lucky to have found a place in the World Cup squad.
#4 Piyush Chawla, 2011 World Cup
He made his Test debut in 2005 and was considered a natural successor to Shane Warne. Piyush Chawla did show glimpses of his talent every now and then but far too often he conceded a lot of runs. He played in an era where containing the batsmen was the spinner’s primary role and Chawla was not consistent on that front.
The wrist spinner did hardly anything of note before the World Cup. But he was still picked as the third spinner in the squad. It was speculated that Chawla is a lucky charm who was part of India’s T20 World Cup winning squad too.
#3 Stuart Binny, 2015 World Cup
He had a pretty mediocre record in ODIs barring that one game against Bangladesh. Stuart Binny picked up 6 wickets for just 4 runs to set up one of India’s famous wins. It was this game that gave him a long pass for the World Cup. But Stuart Binny’s military medium pace was never going to trouble batters in Australian conditions.
He hardly made a contribution with the bat at the international level. All these factors though were overlooked when he was picked for the World Cup. Binny though didn’t feature in any of the matches.
#2 Vijay Shankar, 2019 World Cup
There can be an entire piece written on his inclusion for the 2019 World Cup. Vijay Shankar was built up as a 3-D player who could contribute to the team through all 3 facets of the game. He did play a couple of eye-catching knocks against New Zealand and Australia. This was enough for the selectors to give him a run in the 2019 World Cup in England. He was preferred over Ambati Rayudu who was India’s best bet at number 4. Shankar played a couple of games and was ruled out owing to an ‘injury’.
#1 Rishabh Pant, 2019 World Cup
There was a lot of chatter around his initial exclusion from the World Cup squad. He along with Ambati Rayudu were considered the unlucky ones to miss out from the World Cup. But Pant contrary to popular belief his numbers in ODIs weren’t the greatest then. He hardly played a significant knock to command a spot in the World Cup squad.
Pant though was added to the squad as a replacement to Vijay Shankar who suffered an untimely injury. His selection ahead of Ambati Rayudu raised a lot of eyebrows. He played a few games and was ridiculed for his shot selection in the semifinal.