World Cup: Big players who will miss the flight to Australia-New Zealand

  • N Ananthanarayanan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 18:12 IST

In an ideal world, these men would be among the first to be named in their respective squads. But World Cup is hardly the time for sentiment, and some big names will miss out on the action in Australia and New Zealand. Millions of fans who will be at the venues and will be glued to TV will also miss them. Take Yuvraj Singh, for instance. The Player of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup, it was his all-round heroics that gave India the momentum to go all the way.

He not just produced the goods with the bat, his left-arm spin was tailor-made for the slow pitches of the sub-continent. He was also among the wickets in every knockout game. But the battle with cancer that followed has diminished his abilities in all three departments - batting, bowling and fielding - which made him the impact player.

He found batting form in domestic cricket, but that was not enough to sway the selectors.

Big influence

Kevin Pietersen was the driving force of England, who have otherwise been flat in limited-overs tournaments. Sacked from the national side last year over his attitude, KP has since got his own back with ex-teammates as well as the ECB administrators in a tell-all book. Thus the selectors picked KP's choice for captain, the Irish-born Eoin Morgan, but shut the door on the player himself despite England's troubles. The South Africa-born batsman has been desperate to somehow get into the WC squad, but Morgan has quashed any such expectation.

Former England skipper, Alastair Cook, too realised that classy technique is no substitute for a lack of form, dumped due to a prolonged poor run and uninspiring ODI leadership.

Saeed Ajmal was expected to bend things Pakistan's way in a tournament expected to favour the seamers. But he bent his elbow far too much to be suspended from bowling and could not get his action cleared before the final 15 was named. Even if his action is cleared before the World Cup, it will be difficult to make it, unless a squad member is ruled out.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke, South Africa stumper Quinton de Kock, Kiwi batsman Kane Williamson and Ravindra Jadeja are all fighting fitness battles.

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