The tri-series in Australia, India's final ODI engagement before the World Cup, gets underway on January 16, says Chandresh Narayanan, casting a fascinating look at the survivors from earlier World Cups.
India's hopes of defending the title at the World Cup has received various voices of support from former Australia captain Ian Chappell, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
While Tendulkar and Sehwag have hope in India's balanced squad, Chappell believes the seamers will bring glory or make the side perish in the showpiece event.
India's skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes he has found 12 of the 15 players who will play under him in the tournament, from February 14 to March 29, 2015.
With the Board of Control for Cricket in India naming the provisional squad of 30, the countdown for the tournament is well and truly and on.
The squad of 30 is meant to be announced for purely administrative purposes, with players outside the shortlist also having an opportunity to make the cut for the mega event.
By the time the tri-series in Australia, India's final ODI engagement before the World Cup, gets underway on January 16, the final squad of 15 would have been chosen, as the deadline for that announcement is January 7.
It is possible that the World Cup squad will play the tri-series, also featuring England.
India will go in with just four players from its 2011 squad, becoming the defending champions to go into a World Cup with the least number of survivors from the previous tournament.
In 1987, India went in with six players from its 1983 World Cup-winning team: Captain Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Roger Binny and Sunil Gavaskar.
1996 champions Sri Lanka entered the 1999 World Cup with the most number of survivors: 11. Sri Lanka got knocked out in the league stages and skipper Arjuna Ranatunga lost his job.
Before Sri Lanka, the West Indies, in 1983, went in with 10 survivors from its 1979 World Cup champion team, including skipper Clive Lloyd (see attached table).
At home in 1992, Australia went in with nine players from its 1987 World Cup-winning squad. During its title defences in 2003, 2007 and 2011, Australia had seven surviving members from each of the previous editions.
Pakistan, in 1996, also had nine members from the champion 1992 squad, of course, minus iconic captain, Imran Khan, who had retired.
The number of survivors can be looked at in two ways: Either as a sign of stability, or as an aging squad that will soon be replaced by a new order.
The BCCI, on its part, had advanced the dates of the domestic one-day tournaments to enable the selectors choose the best possible team.
|Players from '75 WC||Players from '79 WC||Players from '83 WC||Players from '87 WC||Players from '92 WC||Players from '96 WC||Players from '99 WC||Players from '03 WC||Players from '07 WC|
|Alvin Kallicharran||Andy Roberts||Dilip Vengsarkar||Allan Border (c)||Aamir Sohail||Aravinda de Silva||Adam Gilchrist||Adam Gilchrist||Brad Haddin|
|Andy Roberts||Clive Lloyd||Kapil Dev (c)||Bruce Reid||Aaqib Javed||Arjuna Ranatunga||Damien Martyn||Andrew Symonds||Michael Clarke|
|Clive Lloyd||Desmond Haynes||Krishnamachari Srikkanth||Craig McDermott||Ijaz Ahmed||Chaminda Vaas||Darren Lehmann||Brad Hogg||Michael Hussey|
|Deryck Murray||Faoud Bacchus||Ravi Shastri||David Boon||Inzamam-ul-Haq||Hashan Tillakaratne||Glenn McGrath||Glenn McGrath||Mitchell Johnson|
|Gordon Greenidge||Gordon Greenidge||Roger Binny||Dean Jones||Javed Miandad||Marvan Atapattu||Michael Bevan||Matthew Hayden||Ricky Ponting|
|Viv Richards||Joel Garner||Sunil Gavaskar||Geoff Marsh||Mushtaq Ahmed||Muttiah Muralitharan||Ricky Ponting||Nathan Bracken||Shane Watson|
|Larry Gomes||Peter Taylor||Ramiz Raja||Pramodya Wickramasinghe||Shane Warne||Ricky Ponting||Shaun Tait|
|Malcolm Marshall||Steve Waugh||Salim Malik||Romesh Kaluwitharan|
|Michael Holding||Tom Moody||Wasim Akram||Roshan Mahanama|
|Viv Richards||Sanath Jayasuriya|