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The 11 World Cup winners we will miss in 2015

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: January 06, 2015 19:20 IST
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Virender Sehwag (right) with Sachin Tendulkar during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

In what is a clear sign of looking ahead, the national selection panel led by Sandeep Patil dashed the slender hopes of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir by ignoring them for the 2015 ICC World Cup.

- Axar, Binny in World Cup squad but no place for Yuvraj

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Only four members of the 2011 squad -- captain Dhoni, new Test captain Virat Kohli, left handed batsman Suresh Raina and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin -- will now have a chance to make it a World Cup double.

Of the three, Ashwin was not part of the playing 11 that defeated Sri Lanka in the summit clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.

Here’s a look at the champions from the last edition who will be missed when the action commences in Australia-New Zealand next year.

Sachin Tendulkar:

The maestro played in a record six World Cups, with his first appearance in 1992. The retired right-hand batting icon, who holds the record for most runs and most centuries in World Cup history, finished on the winning side in 2011.

Incidentally, it turned out to be his last World Cup appearance, as he retired from ODIs a year later after a glorious 23-year career.

Yuvraj Singh:

Yuvraj Singh celebrates hitting the winning runs during the 2011 World Cup quarter-final match against Australia in Ahmedabad.. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

He was instrumental in India’s World Cup triumph at home in 2011. He starred with both bat and ball, scoring 362 runs and taking 15 wickets, and was rightly named ‘Player of the tournament’.

The left-hander later discovered that he was battling lung cancer through the tournament which ruled him out of cricket for a while. He made a return to international cricket in 2012, but was never really able to cement his place in the team and was subsequently left out of the 30-man probables list for the 2015 tournament.

Virender Sehwag:

The swashbuckling opener played a key role in India’s triumph in 2011, his third appearance in the World Cup. However, he lost his place in the ODI team soon after and his poor returns in domestic cricket meant he failed to make a comeback for the 2015 event.

Gautam Gambhir:

The Delhi batsman also starred with the bat for India in the last World Cup, scoring 393 runs in nine matches, but failed to make cut this time around.

The left-hander, who was dropped due to poor form, last played an ODI in January 2013.

Shantakumar Sreesanth:

In 2011, the Kerala pacer was drafted in as a late replacement for Praveen Kumar and played two matches but failed to make an impact.

He was banned for life after his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.

Zaheer Khan:

The veteran left-arm pacer was India’s top wicket-taker in the 2011 edition, with 21 wickets in nine matches, but has fallen out of favour in the last couple of years.

Following a spate of injuries recently, he hardly played domestic cricket and had nothing to show the selectors.

Harbhajan Singh:

The ace off-spinner was India’s lead spinner in the 2011 World Cup but his dip in form thereafter and the emergence of Ravichandran Ashwin meant he found it difficult to hold his place in the team.

It’s been more than three years since he last figured in the ODI squad, his last appearance being June 2011, against the West Indies in Antigua.

Yusuf Pathan:

The Baroda all-rounder played six matches in the last edition before making way for Suresh Raina in the knock-out matches.

The 32-year-old has struggled to break into the Indian team since 2012 and it wasn’t surprising that he wasn’t considered this time.

Ashish Nehra:

The veteran pacer was a surprise inclusion for the 2011 World Cup in which he played three games. This time around, though, there was no fairytale comeback for the 35-year-old Delhi bowler who has done well in domestic cricket recently.

Munaf Patel:

The fast bowler made an impact in the last edition, claiming 11 wickets in eight matches. But he fell out of favour with the selectors soon after and hasn’t featured in the team since 2011.

Piyush Chawla:

The leg-spinner was lucky to be a part of the 2011 World Cup team but did nothing of note. He claimed four wickets in three matches, with an economy rate of more than six runs per over.

He hasn’t featured in ODIs for more than three years now and a lacklustre showing in domestic cricket meant he was never in contention.

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