With the deadline to announce World Cup 2019 squads nearing, most participating nations have announced their teams. As is the case with something big, along with the regular inclusions, there are always surprise exclusions, and this World Cup selection process has been no different for the teams.
Peter Handscomb: The most unlucky of the lot to miss out, one could say. With both Steve Smith and David Warner back in the World Cup squad, there was no place for Handscomb with Alex Carey being the preferred wicket-keeping option for obvious reasons. But, Handscomb would feel really hard done by. He was excellent in ODI series played in India, during which he scored 236 runs at an average of 47.20, a strike-rate of 92 with a match-winning hundred as well. Alas, it wasn’t to be for Handscomb this time.
Ambati Rayudu: Not long ago, Virat Kohli had stated that India had found their number four for the World Cup in Ambati Rayudu. The latter would thus have definitely got a jolt when he was snubbed with his place going to ‘three-dimensional’ Vijay Shankar. How hurt Rayudu was became obvious from his tweet which said that he’s buying 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. But, Rayudu must also take part of the blame. He was very poor in the home series against Australia and but for a half-century has struggled in the IPL as well.
Rishabh Pant: Unlike Rayudu, Pant has time on his side as his international career has just begun. That side, four years is a long time and one never knows what the situation with Pant might be then. As such, one is bound to feel a little sorry for Pant. He has done exceedingly well in the Tests and IPL as well, but somehow has failed to replicate his form in the ODIs. Even his wicket-keeper has been rather shoddy, one of the key reasons Dinesh Karthik got the nod for England despite being dropped for the Australia series.
Mohammad Amir: When Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England, deflating India in the final, it was redemption for Amir, and his world had come full circle as it was in the same country that he was involved in the spot-fixing scandal. Amir was the star knocking over the Indian top three. Amir, however, has managed merely five wickets in 14 one-day internationals since the famous win, enough for the selectors to not choose him in the provisional World Cup squad.
Reeza Hendricks: With Hashim Amla’s form on the wane, there was speculation that Reeza Hendricks might get the nod ahead of the veteran. But, the 36-year-old’s experience got him the berth ahead of Reeza although he has not been in the best of form over the last year. Hendricks got a hundred on debut against Sri Lanka last year, but inconsistency may have also been a factor in him not getting a spot.
Dinesh Chandimal: From being captain of Sri Lanka, to losing his place altogether for the World Cup, it has been one big fall for Chandimal. Of course, he hasn’t been consistent as expected and that was the key reason behind his omission. That said, in his last five ODI knocks, his scores read 34, 33, 80, 10 and 3, which is not all that bad. With his experience, should Sri Lanka have persisted with Chandimal is the question.
Josh Hazlewood: This one is a massive exclusion. The Aussie pace bowler may have been out of action lately due to injury, however his numbers reveal how effective he has been for the team in the past couple of years. His 17 wickets have come at an average of 25.05, and economy rate of 5.01. As such, his exclusion over the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff is definitely surprising, not taking anything away from the latter two.
Tim Seifert: Following his brilliant performances in the T20s against India at home, talks of his World Cup inclusion became stronger. And why not. Seifert daringly took on the Indian bowling attack and came first in the series. Unfortunately, he missed out to Tom Blundell, who selectors felt was the better keeper. Seifert made no bones about the fact that he was gutted at the non-selection.
Taskin Ahmed: So hurt was Taskin at being overlooked for the World Cup that he broke down in public. Taskin’s exclusion was somewhat baffling as he has been among Bangladesh’s reliable pacers over the years. The selectors instead decided to Abu Jayed who has just 15 wickets in 5 Tests and three T20Is combined.
Ashton Turner: Sometimes, one scintillating knock is enough for a batsman to announce himself at the world stage. Turner did that when he blazed an unbeaten 84 from 43 in just his second ODI, against India at Mohali. The hurricane effort came in a winning cause, even earning Turner the man of the match. It was too small a sample size to coax selectors to include him in the World Cup squad though.