The Financial Express

The Missing XI: High profile exclusions that fans will miss

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The biggest event in T20 cricket is here. While fans are excited about all the actions, they will surely miss some of their favourite cricketers in this tournament who either lost their place in the squad or retired recently.

The Financial Express makes a list of players who, if played, could have added absolute colours in this mega event.

Tamim Iqbal 

Tamim has been an indispensable part of every format for Bangladesh for the past 10 years or so. Although Tamim was not in good shape in this format-- playing few games in recent times for Bangladesh, yet his position was almost secured in the playing XI. 

However, Tamim excluding himself before the World Cup in order to provide opportunities to the youngsters was a surprise and disappointment-- both at the same time, to his fans. 

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan had been an ideal partner for Rohit Sharma at the opening position for India. The duo scored 1743 runs together with four 100+ partnerships. 

Well, stats couldn’t secure his position as his competitor KL Rahul is ahead statistically and has 2 centuries in this format averaging 39.92 with a strike rate of 142.19. 

Also, Dhawan’s performance and captaincy in Sri Lanka didn’t click. Ishan Kishan's excellent performance in the last few games also contributed to Dhawan's exclusion. 

Faf Du Plessis (CAP)

Du Plessis retired from test cricket to give more focus on the limited-over games. He captained South Africa in 37 T20Is and won 23 of them. Being an excellent fielder, Du Plessis has been consistent in this format. His exclusion from the squad came as a shock. 

Colin Munro

Munro had 3 centuries in this format with a strike rate of 156.33. Though he lacked consistency, he still had the ability to change the result of a game all by himself. New Zealand might miss him in the tournament for his hard-hitting ability. 

Ben Stokes 

For mental well being and an additional finger injury, Stokes took leave from the national duties before World Cup. His competency as a batsman, bowler or fielder is beyond the question mark. He is certainly one of the biggest names missing in this World Cup.

Tom Latham (WK)

Latham captained New Zealand’s last series against Bangladesh. Though his statistics are not up to the mark in the T20 format, his role as a vice-captain might be beneficial for the Kiwis. 

Thisara Perera

The retirement of Thisara Perera at an age of 32 only was one of the biggest unexpected events of this year in cricket. He was one of the finest all-rounders in this format with 1200 runs to his name with a strike rate of 151.64 in his 84 appearances. He also picked up 51 wickets.

Sam Curran

Sam is one of the emerging all-rounders and one of those players who were expected to dazzle the World Cup. His absence is unfortunate as he got injured playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL this month. 

Jofra Archer

Archer could be England’s best death bowling weapon in the World Cup, was left out due to a right elbow fracture. The English team will certainly miss one of their trump cards and the fans-- his demolishing performances. 

Yuvendra Chahal

Ashwin made a surprise entry to the squad by replacing Chahal, who played his last T20I in 2017. The exclusion of Chahal was even more surprising considering the inexperienced faces like Varun Chakraborty and Rahul Chahar were selected. 

Chahal should have been the first choice for his consistency since 2018. He picked up 63 wickets in 49 games in this period. 

Lasith Malinga

After not being selected for the World Cup, Malinga announced his retirement from international cricket. In a time when the Lankan bowlers regularly fail to stop the opponent from creating havoc, Slinga Malinaga’s pitch-perfect yorkers will be sheerly missed. 

Ross Taylor (12th man)

Taylor is one of the veterans of this format having played 102 games for the Black Caps. He was a regular face for the Kiwis in the last 6 editions of the World T20. 

Although Taylor became a bit irregular in the team recently, Mark Chapman's entry, who is a former Hong Kong cricketer, instead of Taylor might prove costly for the Kiwis. 

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