The T20 World Cup 2021 is a platform that brings together the galaxy of the most extraordinary talents across the globe. After five-and-a-half years the tournament finally returns, and the next few weeks are set to witness an exhibition of skills from some of the finest T20 cricketers of the globe.
Like every major tournament across the globe, the 2021 T20 World Cup is also set to miss some of the best cricketers in the shortest format in the sport through non-selection, injury or reasons best known by the cricketing boards.
Here’s a squad of such cricketers, the illustrious ones, who missed the bus for the mega T20 World Cup 2021.
Prithvi Shaw (India)
In 2021: 479 runs @ 30 | SR 159
The 21-year-old Indian opener is among the most exciting young batters. Shaw’s career strike rate in T20s is touching 150. In List A cricket, the flamboyant Mumbai batter averages 56.48, striking at 125!
Shaw’s tally of 827 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year is the highest in a List A tournament played outside England, and he became the first-ever cricketer in register three 150+ scores in a single List A tournament. His average of 165.4 at a strike rate of 138.3 is an indicator of his form.
He also had a good IPL season for Delhi Capitals (DC), where his strike rate of 159.1 was the highest for any batter with over 250 runs in the tournament. Shaw got close to 479 runs and remained a pillar behind Delhi’s success.
Shikhar Dhawan (India)
In 2021: 782 runs @ 34 | SR 122
The veteran left-hander has a knack for raising his game in big tournaments. Besides his 31 off 24 in the 2013 Champion’s Trophy Final wherein India beat England (in England) being one unsung occasion of batting heroics, knocks like the 137 off 146 in a high-octane World Cup encounter against the Proteas (2015 WC) prove Shikhar Dhawan’s might with the bat.
He took on leadership roles in 2021, being Delhi’s captain in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year and also led India in Sri Lanka. Donning the Orange Cap for a long time in the IPL, he finished as the tournament’s eighth most valuable player.
Like his DC opening partner, Dhawan too failed to find a spot in the national side due to the lack of top-order spots.
Faf du Plessis (South Africa) – Captain
In 2021: 986 runs @ 38 | SR 138
It’s fitting that du Plessis leads this unfortunate side. He retired from Tests this year to focus on the tournament. In the form of his life, the South African great has been ignored by the selectors clearly for non-cricketing reasons.
After a good CPL where he scored his second T20 ton, du Plessis guided Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to their fourth IPL title. He missed the Orange Cap by two runs and was the Player of the Match in the tournament final.
Alex Hales (England) – Wicketkeeper
In 2021: 1,197 runs @ 37 | SR 163
In a saner world, Hales would have been the first name on an English T20I team sheet. He remains England’s only centurion in a T20 World Cup and has been in incredible form lately. Off-field issues have played a role in his exit for the strong England outfit.
Though captain Eoin Morgan says that the door isn’t shut on him, the return looks far. On another note, the English captain managed 133 runs in IPL at an average of 11, striking under 96.
Ben Stokes (England)
In 2021: 197 runs @ 16 | SR 122 | 14 wickets @ 23 | Econ 8.6
Taking an indefinite break from the game, Stokes, one of the superstars of world cricket, will also miss the Ashes later this year. The last edition of the T20 World Cup ended with Stokes conceding four consecutive sixes, causing the English heartbreak. The all-rounder redeemed himself next year by becoming IPL’s MVP, and in 2019, his efforts ensured England their first ODI World Cup.
Jason Holder (West Indies)
In 2021: 284 runs @ 16 | SR 115 | 30 wickets @ 23 | Econ 7.9
Defending champions West Indies excluded their former captain from the main squad and named him in the travelling reserved. Holder had a poor CPL but returned well to be one of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) heroes in the recently concluded IPL, finishing with 16 wickets at an average of 15. He was the team’s second most valuable player after Rashid Khan.
Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies)
In 2021: 481 runs @ 17 | SR 134 | 39 wickets @ 25 | Econ 8.3
“Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite! Remember the name,” screamed Ian Bishop after the fourth six landed rows behind the deep midwicket. Brathwaite provided the sport with one of its most iconic moments, winning them their second T20 World Cup.
It has been an eventful five and a half years for the Barbadian all-rounder. From a World Cup hero to West Indies T20 captain to getting axed, it’s ironic that both Brathwaite and Stokes find themselves in the absentee XI.
With a plethora of T20 superstars across the Caribbean isles, the competition to enter the final 15 is immense.
Sunil Narine (West Indies)
In 2021: 261 runs @ 13 | SR 126 | 35 wickets @ 20 | Econ 5.9
Narine is the biggest miss for West Indies in the tournament. Reluctant to make a comeback for not gaining full bowling confidence, there were hints that he was ready to return after the IPL. Fitness concerns were later cited as reasons for his exclusion.
Before the IPL final, West Indian captain and Narine’s countryman Kieron Pollard clarified that despite the IPL riches, the Trinidadian wouldn’t be added to their squad.
Narine was the force behind the Knight Riders in both IPL and CPL.
Jofra Archer (England)
In 2021: 19 runs @ 19 | SR 190 | 7 wickets @ 25 | Econ 7.6
Archer’s absence is a big blow for England as he’s their best white-ball bowler. Fast, accurate and a big-hitter, he’s among the most-sought cricketers across the globe and would have been England’s trump card in this tournament.
Adam Milne (New Zealand)
In 2021: 28 wickets @ 25 | Econ 7.8
One of the best fast bowling units in cricket, New Zealand have named Milne as a travelling reserve. Unfortunately, the express pace bowler failed to make the cut despite being the best bowler in the Hundred earlier this year. He finished the tournament with 12 wickets at 10.75, with an economy of 5.7.
Yuzvendra Chahal (India)
In 2021: 27 wickets @ 26 | Econ 7.5
Chahal has been far from his best since 2019, leading to Rahul Chahar’s inclusion as the leg-spinner in the Indian squad. However, the experienced Chahal was brilliant for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the UAE leg of the IPL, claiming 14 wickets at 13, going at just over six an over.
In fact, what made Chahal an obvious choice was his record in the UAE. Since IPL 2020, Chahal has 35 wickets in UAE from 23 matches at 16.8, with an economy of 6.75
That being said, so here’s your T20 World Cup 2021 Absentee XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Faf du Plessis (c), Alex Hales (wk), Ben Stokes, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Jofra Archer, Adam Milne, Yuzvendra Chahal.
- Imran Tahir (South Africa): One of the leading leg-spinners in franchise cricket, South Africa haven’t picked the veteran. In 2021, he has 38 T20 wickets at 18.4, going at seven an over.
- Chris Morris (South Africa): A leading all-rounder in the T20 circuit, Morris is IPL’s most expensive overseas player. Cricket South Africa stated that he wasn’t available for international selection. Again, that’s very dubious.
- Sanju Samson (India): A curious case, Samson remains incredibly talented, but his career oscillates between the extremes of highs and lows. Despite a good IPL, Samson lost out the race to Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan.
- Axar Patel (India): Picked in the initial squad, Axar was replaced last week with Shardul Thakur. However, the all-rounder remains in the reserves. It still remains unfortunate to see him replaced in the squad despite a brilliant IPL. He claimed 15 wickets in the tournament at 20, going at just over 6.5 an over.
- Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka): The Sri Lankan star made himself unavailable for selection after a long tiff with the board. Reportedly, he has recently expressed interest in returning, but he hasn’t been named in the Sri Lankan T20 World Cup squad.