Yuvraj Singh may still play the World Cup
If you ask a cricket fan whether Yuvraj Singh should play the World Cup, emotions will coax him into a 'Yes', while the brain would say 'let performance be the benchmark.' But there is a third aspect, which is governed from upstairs - Destiny.
Yuvraj - the Man of the Series in India's 2011 World Cup triumph - has seen the harsh realities of life ever since he was struck down by cancer. But he didn't give up. Like a champion, Yuvraj knocked the illness out, recovered and earned his India jersey back. That he didn't do well on his comeback is a different story, but that he did come back speaks volumes about his desire to play for his country.
But in a country where cricket talent is in abundance, you need to reward performance. And that's where Ravindra Jadeja grabbed his opportunity to become Dhoni's No. 1 choice for an allrounder.
But just in time for an outside chance of playing at the biggest stage came another man of the same ilk as Yuvraj and Jadeja.
Axar Patel's 11 wickets perched him on top of the bowling charts in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, allowing him to peep enough to come into the frame to represent India at the premier ICC tournament.
But the 30 names of probables that the BCCI selectors ticked didn't include Yuvraj's name, putting him out of the race and leaving Jadeja and Axar to fight it out for the spin allrounder's spot in the final 15.
However, there was another twist in the tail before Sandeep Patil & Co sit down for the selection meeting on January 6.
Jadeja, who was ruled out of the Test series in Australia due to injury, was reported as having a shoulder niggle serious enough to put him out of contention for a World Cup debut.
That narrowed selectors' options to just Axar Patel, who though, despite his promise, is inexperienced to handle the pressures of a World Cup with just 9 ODIs under his belt.
Should Dhoni and the BCCI selectors consider that as a risk to India's World Cup defence, they will be left with this option: Pick Jadeja and hope for him to recover in time. If he doesn't, then use ICC's World Cup regulations later and ask for a replacement on medical grounds.
If the latter happens, BCCI will have the option of recalling Yuvraj in the eleventh hour; that's where the flamboyant left-hander's chance lies. And Yuvraj has done no harm to boost that outside chance, hitting three centuries in a row for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy.