They say, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures.’ Indian cricket team had a great World Cup earlier this year. But since the marquee tournament, team’s fortunes have gone downhill in the limited-overs formats. First they were humbled by lowly Bangladesh and then beaten comprehensively by South Africa. The selectors had a tough task when they sat down to pick the squads for T20s & ODIs in Australia. And they did make some out-of-the-box selections. On one hand, they have infused young blood, and on the other, they have gone back to the past to pick the old-guard, showing they are willing to bet on horses for courses in the shortest format. Here are few surprising choices:

1.  Yuvraj Singh


Hero of India’s 2007 and 2011 World Cup wins, Yuvraj was also the villain of 2014 ICC World T20 final. His fans had been demanding his return to the team, but his comeback to the team is a surprising one. Though he has been doing well of late — averaging 85 in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy — selectors weren’t expected to take a regressive step by going for him.

2.  Ashish Nehra


Nehra, who last played for India during the victorious campaign of World Cup 2011, apparently had given away hopes of playing for India again. He has been handed a surprise call-up by the selectors. His great run with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captained by Dhoni in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has prompted his return to the team after over four years.

3.  Barinder Sran

brainder sran

Young left-arm fast bowler from Punjab is already a highly rated one on the domestic circuit. He has been probably picked up as India were desperately looking for a left-armer to add variety to the attack.

4.  Manish Pandey

manish pandey

The Karnataka and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player has been an impressive performer on the domestic circuit for quite some time now. He did well on his debut in Zimbabwe earlier this year, scoring a half-century. His addition though is surprising one, as Shreyas Iyer’s name too was doing the rounds.

5.  Rishi Dhawan

rishi dhawan

The Himachal Pradesh all-rounder has been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit. He is a rare breed in India, a medium-pace bowling all-rounder. This made him an exciting prospect ever since he broke out on the national scene. But with Stuart Binny around in all three formats, he wasn’t expected to make the cut

6.  Hardik Pandya


The Baroda all-rounder grabbed eyeballs with his exciting brand of cricket earlier this year when he turned out for the Mumbai Indians during the eighth season of IPL. Though he was touted as the one for future, his selection ahead of the World T20 was unlikely. But the selectors did spring a surprise here by picking the young talent and helping him nurture and blossom under the wings of MS Dhoni.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)