India saw a tremendous 2023 ODI World Cup campaign at home last year with complete domination in the league stage with just one exceptional defeat in the final costing them the coveted trophy.
India hasn’t been regularly playing ODI matches with last year being an exception given the weightage of two multi-nation tournaments in the World Cup and Asia Cup. With the focus once again shifted to T20I cricket this year with the target at the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA, the selectors will field a second-string side for all the bilateral ODI matches.
But in this article, we will take a look at some of the Indian players who might not fall under the radar of the think tank even though they haven’t called for retirement from their ODI career.
5. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from India’s ODI World Cup squad was one of the shocking ones. The leg-spinner played his last One-Day International match against New Zealand last year in January in Indore. He was part of India’s three-match ODI squad against South Africa in December 2023, but the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Washington Sundar started ahead of him.
Chahal and Kuldeep formed a potent spin attack for India between 2017 and 2020, however, it seems the selectors have decided to move ahead with the former. The Haryana player perhaps can be considered in case of an injury replacement.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin’s selection in the last three World Cup tournaments has raised eyebrows because he wasn’t regular in the bilateral series ahead in the run-up to those mega events. The burly off-spinner was only roped in India’s ODI series against Australia just before the World Cup and played a couple of matches in Mohali and Indore. An injury to fellow spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel paved the way for his senior counterpart in the 15-member squad for the quadrennial event.
Despite the decent figures of 1 for 34 from 10 overs in India’s World Cup opener against Australia, Ashwin didn’t play any further part in India’s campaign to the final match. He wasn’t even selected for the South Africa series.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was once India’s bowling spearhead but today the 33-year-old cannot find a place in either of the three international formats, having played his last game in a T20I against New Zealand in November 2022.
Bhuvneshwar played 121 One-Day Internationals between 2012 and 2022 with his last appearance made in Paarl against South Africa two years ago. With the emergence of pace sensational Mohammed Siraj and the ever-charming Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar might not be the ideal choice as a frontline seamer with many youngsters already in the pipeline.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is reckoned as one of the fearless opening batters to play for India in the white-ball format. For recent years, ODI was the pet format for Dhawan with the Delhi lad also being put in the captaincy shoes in a few bilateral series.
Dhawan’s dip in numbers in 2022 and the inverse rise of youngster Shubman Gill eventually led to the former’s snub in the 50-over format. The southpaw played his last ODI match in December 2022 against Bangladesh in Chattogram.
The chances of Dhawan of returning to the ODI setup seem very bleak given that he is at the twilight of his career and hasn’t played any competitive cricket since the conclusion of IPL 2023.
1. Suryakumar Yadav
The swashbuckling batter is currently recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the T20I series against South Africa, where he captained the Indian side. Nevertheless, the Mumbai batter was rested from the ODI squad for the same tour.
Suryakumar Yadav is the undisputed king in T20I cricket in the current scenario but the fact cannot be ignored that he struggles in the longer formats. He was part of India’s ODI squad in the World Cup and only got the opportunity in the playing XI after all-rounder Hardik Pandya was ruled out.
The 33-year-old scored 106 runs in seven innings at a below par average of 17.67 with the best score of 49 against England in the testing Lucknow conditions. Suryakumar could just focus on the T20I format with his position key in the middle order.
Experience campaigner Shreyas Iyer and emerging player Rinku Singh could be looked for the middle order in ODI cricket along with Hardik Pandya.
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