The forthcoming T20 World Cup in Oman and UAE will be featuring some of the world’s best cricketers and yet there are multiple prominent individuals who won’t be around at the same time to also take part in their country’s quest for the coveted crown.
These individuals have been looked past by their national selectors and management for various reasons but could well form one of the better T20 playing XIs in the world within themselves.
Bringing these popular faces into the spotlight, we enlisted an XI from the best unpicked individuals that could easily have made their country’s T20 World Cup squad.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup XI of players not selected for the 2021 edition
1. Alex Hales
Alex Hales’ is a sad case of a cricketer losing the trust of his captain and never again finding a place in the side. Dropped from the side for disciplinary reasons ahead of the 2019 World Cup, the England opening batter remains sidelined. Hales, however, has been putting in strong performances in T20 leagues since then. He averaged 43.81 with a strike-rate of 178.21 in the T20 Blast for Nottinghamshire this summer.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
Since the start of IPL 2020, Shikhar Dhawan has been a much-improved T20 batter with an expanded range and greater strike-rate. The experienced left-hander has not had the best of the UAE leg of IPL 2021, but his overall tally for the two seasons still gives a very impressive reading: 1,169 runs at an average of 41.45 and strike-rate of 136.08. Dhawan lost his place because of past performances in T20Is and the surge of other, most robust options in the Indian side.
3. Faf du Plessis
Former skipper Du Plessis is a notable absentee from South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad as the selectors opted to focus on the youngsters. Du Plessis hasn’t played a T20I for South Africa since December 2020 but had expressed his desire to make the World Cup trip to UAE. The experienced batter has been in strong form with the bat for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2021, scoring 547 runs at an average of 42.07 and strike-rate of 137.09 so far.
4. Joe Root
England’s powerpacked batting unit may have not found a place for him but an anchor of Root’s quality and range against spin could’ve been a real handful for any other team on dry, spin-friendly surfaces in the Middle East. Root had batted tremendously for England in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup. The right-hander made 249 runs from his six innings at an average of 49.80 and strike-rate of 146.47.
5. Angelo Matthews
Matthews had a fall out with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) because of a contractual issue before opting to go on an indefinite break. But the cricketer would’ve surely made the T20 World Cup if not for SLC once again letting its players down. Matthews’ presence would’ve bolstered an inexperienced Sri Lankan side that is vulnerable of missing out on a Super 12 berth.
6. Jason Holder
Defending champions West Indies couldn’t find a place for Holder in their T20 World Cup squad but the fast-bowling all-rounder can make most other sides in the competition. Holder’s gradually improved powerhitting abilities and tightened-up bowling make him a lethal combination when at his best as he showed in a recent game of IPL 2021 for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Sharjah.
7. Sunil Narine
With his mystery spin and ability to blast the opposition attacks in short but crucial cameos, Narine is a surprising omission from West Indies’ squad. There were fears in the last couple of years that Narine is losing his charm but the cricketer has stood resurrected in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Narine has now taken 14 wickets in IPL 2021 at an economy rate of just 6.18. On Monday (October 11), he took 4/21 and struck a 15-ball 26 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) win the Eliminator in Sharjah.
8. Chris Morris
Not part of South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad, Morris is another of the prominent non-selections for the tournament. Morris at his best can blaze his willow for useful runs down the order and bowl the tough lengths from his high release at express pace. If he gets going, Morris is one of the better No.8s to have.
9. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal’s non-selection from India’s squad took everyone by surprise. The cricketer was expected to make the final 15 despite his struggles in T20Is in the last three years given his reputation as one of the world’s best leggies. But the selectors took a brave call. On a personal front, however, Chahal has done his best to try and make the decision-makers change their minds through performances in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. After an insipid Indian leg, Chahal, bowling a flatter trajectory and employing more googlies, took 14 wickets from 8 matches with an economy rate of only 6.13.
10. Imran Tahir
Despite still performing well in leagues across the globe, experienced wristspinner Tahir has not been considered for selection in T20Is since early 2019. The 42-year-old expressed his disappointment when the selectors also looked past him for the T20 World Cup. In T20 cricket since the start of 2020, Tahir has bagged 27 scalps from 23 outings while going for just 6.58 runs per over.
11. Wahab Riaz
Pakistan have moved on from left-arm pacer Wahab after years of investment. The experienced fast bowler didn’t find a place in his country’s squad for the T20 World Cup, for which the selectors instead focused on younger prospects. He has been featuring in leagues around the world since his last T20I game for Pakistan in December 2020. In 2021, Wahab has taken 43 wickets from 33 T20 matches at an economy rate of 8.15.