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10 Youngest Players to Represent India in ODI World Cup

The ODI World Cup is the biggest event on the cricketing calendar. And every player dreams of representing their nation in this prestigious tournament.

Since the inception of the World Cup in 1975, many players have donned the Indian jersey in this tournament. A few notable players got the opportunity to play for India in the World Cup at a young age.

Here are the 10 youngest players to represent India in the Cricket World Cup.

1. Sachin Tendulkar | 18 Years and 304 Days

Sachin Tendulkar and cricket records go hand in hand. The Master Blaster boasts many records, and this is one of those many records.

The young Mumbai batter made his ODI debut for India in late 1989 and played in his first World Cup in 1992. Tendulkar’s first appearance in the World Cup was against England in Perth, making him the youngest player to play for India in the tournament.

The prolific batter represented India in 6 World Cups from 1992 to 2011, amassing 2278 runs in 44 innings at an impressive average of 56.95. Notably, his dream of winning the coveted trophy was fulfilled in 2011, as India lifted the trophy for the second time.

2. Vinod Kambli | 20 Years and 35 Days

Tendulkar wasn’t the only one who played his first game in the 1992 World Cup against England. His childhood friend Vinod Kambli also took the field for the first time in the tournament. 

With that, he became the second youngest to play for India in the World Cup. However, Kambli couldn’t contribute much with the bat as England’s legendary all-rounder Ian Botham dismissed him for 3 runs.

Kambli was as talented as Tendulkar. He even became the youngest player to score an ODI century for India at the age of 21.

Despite starting his career with big knocks, he failed to cement his place in the team due to indiscipline and inconsistency.

3. Kapil Dev | 20 Years and 154 Days

Kapil Dev was 20 years and 154 days old when he represented India for the first time in the ODI World Cup. This made him the third youngest cricketer to represent India in the prestigious tournament.

His first match was against the West Indies in the 1979 edition, and in the very next season under his leadership, India defeated the Windies to lift the world title for the first time. This victory made him the youngest captain to win the ODI World Cup at the age of 24 years and 170 days.

Dev, India’s greatest fast-bowling allrounder, participated in 4 tournaments, with 28 wickets and 669 runs under his belt in 26 matches. His blistering knock of 175 not out against Zimbabwe in the 1983 semi-final will be forever etched in every cricket fan’s mind.

4. Ravi Shastri | 21 Years and 13 Days

The former India coach and current commentator, Ravi Shastri, appeared in his first World Cup for India in the 1983 edition. He had a memorable start as he picked up 3 wickets by conceding 26 runs in just 5.1 overs in his first match against the mighty West Indies. Shastri’s bowling performance was instrumental in India defeating the champions of the first two editions.

He represented India in 14 matches, picking up 12 wickets and scoring 185 runs. Moreover, he was a member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad.

5. Ajay Jadeja | 21 Years and 27 Days

The next player on the list is Ajay Jadeja. Jadeja, an enthusiastic batter born in Gujarat, played his first World Cup match against Sri Lanka in the 1992 edition. However, he couldn’t get a chance to bat as the game was a washout with only 2 balls bowled.

The street-smart batter could only manage to score 500 runs in 21 World Cup matches, with a sole century (100*) against Australia.

6. Yuvraj Singh | 21 Years and 62 Days

Yuvraj Singh, arguably one of the best all-rounders in limited-overs for India, was the player of the tournament in the 2011 edition for his all-round performance — 362 runs and 15 wickets.

But before that, his first World Cup match was in the 2003 edition against the Netherlands in Paarl. Yuvraj scored 37 runs while coming to bat in the middle order and helped India reach a respectable score of 204.

Overall, in his 3 World Cup appearances, he accumulated 738 runs at an average of 52.71 and grabbed 20 wickets, including a 5-wicket haul.

7. Robin Uthappa | 21 Years and 126 Days

Robin Uthappa, a makeshift keeper-batter from Karnataka, played in his first and last ODI World Cup in 2007. His brilliant performance on his ODI debut earned him a place in the World Cup-bound squad.

Uthappa first appeared in the 50-over tournament in an unforgettable match against Bangladesh, where he could only score 9 runs after coming to bat at No. 3. His poor performance with the bat meant he could only play 3 matches, with 30 runs to his name.

8. Ajit Agarkar | 21 Years and 166 Days

Ajit Agarkar, the current Indian team chief selector, made his first World Cup appearance in the 1999 edition against South Africa. He picked up a wicket against the Proteas.

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The fiery bowler and handy batter had a disappointing campaign in his 2 World Cup appearances in the 1999 and 2007 editions. Agarkar scalped 7 wickets in 6 matches across 2 editions. Later in 2007, he was dropped from the Indian squad due to his inconsistent performance.

9. Rishab Pant | 21 Years and 269 Days

Rishabh Pant, the swashbuckling batter from Delhi, has impressed everyone with his batting since making his international debut. Pant, who was a member of India’s under-19 World Cup winning squad in 2016, played his first ODI World Cup match in 2019.

In his first match against England, he scored 32 runs off 29 balls. Pant only played in 4 matches in the 2019 edition, as India had the services of regular keeper and former captain MS Dhoni. So far, he has scored 114 runs in the tournament.

If not for his fatal car accident in late 2022, Pant could have been part of the 2023 World Cup squad.

10. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan | 21 Years and 287 Days

L. Sivaramakrishnan, a legspinner from Tamil Nadu, was part of the 1987 World Cup squad. His first World Cup match was against New Zealand in Bengaluru, where he failed to pick wickets.

The leggie could only play one more game, bagging 1 wicket, and was dropped from the playing XI. This match turned out to be his last match in the World Cup.

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