Five unlucky cricketers who missed World Cup selection

Of the ten teams who will compete at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, four have submitted their final squads for this summer’s mega-event in England: New Zealand, defending champions Australia, India and Bangladesh.

Here are five cricketers who can consider themselves unlucky not to be picked for the World Cup:

Ambati Rayudu

For the better part of six months, Rayudu was tipped to be India’s No 4 at the World Cup. From the time he was recalled to India’s ODI squad in mid-2018, Rayudu found his name taken by India’s captain, vice-captain and coach as the man to bat at No 4 in England.

But then, after three poor scores during the ODI series at home against Australia, Rayudu lost his place in the XI in March and on Monday was dropped for the World Cup.

In the ongoing IPL, Rayudu has scores of 28, 5, 1, 0, 21*, 21, 57 and 5 do not do justice to his talent and cut a poor impression of the man who until not long ago was India’s preferred No 4 for the World Cup. Kohli all but confirmed Rayudu as India’s World Cup No 4 last year and Rohit Sharma endorsed the batsman’s skills at the Asia Cup.

A day after being dropped, Rayudu took to Twitter with a not-so-subtle dig at MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors.

Ambati Rayudu dropped for World Cup
Ambati Rayudu lost his place in India’s ODI squad in March, and now is out of the World Cup. © AFP

Rishabh Pant

Pant, 21, had been named in India’s previous ODI squad for five games against Australia at home, with the selectors dropping Dinesh Karthik. He played two ODIs when MS Dhoni was rested and scored 36 and 16.

Come the squad announcement day, and Pant was dropped and Karthik recalled – a decision that divided opinions. Pant has performed better than Karthik in the ongoing IPL, both as a batsman and wicketkeeper, and when Prasad clarified that Karthik had been chosen because of his superior glovework and experience, it left Sunil Gavaskar somewhat miffed.

Rishabh Pant India World Cup squad
Rishabh Pant hasn’t set the IPL on fire and that may have gone against him. © BCCI

Peter Handscomb

Since he was recalled to Australia’s ODI squad in January, Handscomb has made 479 runs in 12 innings at 43.54, with one century and three fifties. But when Steve Smith completed his 12-month ban for ball-tampering, they were named in Australia’s World Cup squad and Handscomb was dropped.

It was, in the words of Australia’s coach Justin Langer, “brutally unlucky” for Handscomb.

Peter Handscomb dropped for World CUp
Peter Handscomb has lost his ODI place to the returning Steve Smith. © AFP

Josh Hazlewood

After he successfully recovered from a back injury that sidelined him for two months, the Australian fast bowler admitted to being nervous ahead of Australia’s World Cup squad announcement.

Six months ago, it was unimaginable that Hazlewood would not be part of the defending champions’ World Cup plans, but on Monday the selectors chose not to rush him back into ODI action with an eye on the Ashes after the World Cup.

Josh Hazlewood dropped for World Cup
Josh Hazlewood has recovered from a stress fracture in his back, but isn’t in Australia’s World Cup plans. © AFP

Tim Seifert 

When New Zealand announced their World Cup squad this month, the biggest surprise was the inclusion of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell who is uncapped in ODIs.

Blundell was named ahead of Seifert, who had played a couple of eye-catching T20I innings against India in February. This had put Seifert in pole position to be New Zealand’s reserve wicketkeeper for the World Cup behind Tom Latham, but then he suffered a broken finger which has kept him out of action for the past month.