World Cup 2019: 7 players who might not play a single match in the tournament


Dinesh Karthik might not find a place in India's Playing XI in World Cup 2019

The World Cup is up and running, and it has been a great start to the tournament with some terrific individual and team performances. Some of the teams are off to a flying start, while some have struggled to find their feet. However, with the World Cup being a long tournament, no team can be written off completely so early. Also, as each team are set to play nine matches at least, all the 15 members of the squad have got a real shot at getting some game time. Having said that, there are certain players who might warm the bench for the entire tournament. There are various reasons for it to happen, such as team combinations and the playing conditions. Here, we will look at seven such players who might not get a single game at the World Cup and the analysis of the possible reasons for their omission. 

#7 Milinda Siriwardana

Milinda Siriwardana

Milinda Siriwardana was a surprise pick in Sri Lanka's World Cup squad. Siriwardana last played an ODI for Sri Lanka in October 2017 and wasn't really in the scheme of things for the World Cup. Sri Lanka already have a barrage of all-rounders in the squad such as Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva, and Siriwardana might not be picked in the playing XI. 

#6 Tom Blundell

Tom Blundell

New Zealand selectors surprised everyone when they named the ODI-uncapped Tom Blundell in their World Cup squad. New Zealand were looking for a back-up wicket-keeper and Blundell was deemed perfect for that role. 

And even though he made it to the final 15, the 28-year-old might not get any match time in the tournament. Tom Latham is the designated wicket-keeper of the team and unless he is injured, it is highly unlikely that Blundell will get a game.

#5 Fabian Allen

Fabian Allen

West Indies are considered to be the dark horse of World Cup 2019. The team are filled with proven match-winners and are more than capable of defeating any side on their given day. With West Indies having a strong fast bowling unit, the spinners might have to take a backseat. And even if West Indies decide to include a spinner, it is likely to be Ashley Nurse and not Fabian Allen. 

#4 Mohammad Hasnain

Mohammad Hasnain

Pakistan have time and again picked lesser-known players for big tournaments. The trend continued as fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain was selected in Pakistan's World Cup squad. Hasnain has played just five ODIs for Pakistan and does not have great numbers. He has just five ODI scalps to his name with an average of 60.60 and an economy rate of 7.39. With Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali in the team, even the highly-rated Shaheen Shah Afridi has been left out of the playing XI. Considering Pakistan's rich fast bowling resource, Hasnain might miss out. 

#3 Liam Dawson

Liam Dawson

Liam Dawson wasn't England's first choice for the role of the third spinner for the World Cup. Joe Denly was picked in the provisional squad, but following a string of unimpressive performances, he was left out of the final-15 and was replaced by Dawson. Dawson has been decent for England over the years and is a steady performer. However, he is more of a back-up option for Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, and might struggle to find a place in the playing XI. 

#2 Kane Richardson

Kane Richardson

Kane Richardson's decent show in the series against Pakistan paved the way for his selection when Jhye Richardson was ruled out of the tournament because of an injury. Even though Richardson has been in and out of Australia's ODI side for a long time, his recent impressive form has strengthened the defending champions' pace attack. Unfortunately, with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff in the squad, Richardson might not be Australia's preffered choice for a place in the playing XI. 

#1 Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik

One of the biggest debates ahead of India's World Cup squad selection was whether India will go with the youth and exuberance of Rishabh Pant or the experience of Dinesh Karthik. Owing to better wicket-keeping skills, Karthik eventually made it to the team. Karthik has been reasonably successful as a finisher for India. The 34-year-old is more than capable of batting in the middle order too. However, with the number of options that the Indian team have at their disposal, Karthik might not make it to the playing XI. KL Rahul has started the tournament as India's No.4, a spot for which Vijay Shankar is the second choice. And with the kind of form MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya have been in, India might not need another finisher. Also, with their all-round skills, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav are more likely to get a nod ahead of Karthik.