An XI of unlucky Indian players to have not played a single World Cup match

Raina Singh

Irfan played over 100 ODIs for India

In a nation where millions of people aspire to play cricket for the country, very few get the opportunity to fulfill their dream. And almost every player who has represented the Indian Team dreams of playing the ODI cricket World Cup

The mega-event that happens after every four years is one of the most anticipated tournaments in World Cricket. In the 11 editions that have been played so far, India has won the coveted trophy twice, first in 1983 under Kapil Dev and then in 2011 under MS Dhoni

A lot of players have got the chance to play the marquee tournament but there have been a few players who despite having played for India for a long time, haven't been able to play a single World Cup match. While some of these players were selected in the World Cup squad but did not get any game, some players got injured after being named in the squad and thus got ruled out of the tournament. Also, there were a lot of players who missed the cut because of tough competition from other players.

No matter what the reason was, all these players are extremely unlucky to miss out on playing for India in the coveted tournament. Here is an XI which comprises of Indian players who were unfortunate not to play a single World Cup match.

#1 Murali Vijay

Vijay couldn't cement a place in India's ODI team

Even though Murali Vijay has always been considered a Test player, his batting style and eye-pleasing strokeplay made him a suitable candidate for a place in the ODI side too. To add to it, the number of runs he scored for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL also was a testimony of his pedigree as a limited-overs batsman.

Vijay was given an opportunity to get his name in the World Cup squad by selecting him in the ODI series against South Africa just prior to the World Cup. But unfortunately, he failed to grab the opportunity and was left out of the squad. 

#2 Parthiv Patel (Wicket-keeper)

Parthiv opened the innings in ODIs in the latter part of his career

Parthiv Patel was extremely close to playing for India in the World Cup when he was selected in India's World Cup squad in 2003. However, Sourav Ganguly decided to give the gloves to Rahul Dravid and Parthiv did not get a single game in the series. Post the 2003 World Cup, MS Dhoni arrived on the scene and there was no scope for any other wicket-keeper to secure a place in the Indian ODI side.

#3 VVS Laxman

Laxman was Australia's nemesis in ODIs as well

VVS Laxman, one of the greatest Test batsmen India has ever had, will have one regret in his cricketing career, not able to represent his country in at least a single World Cup game. Laxman was tantalizingly close to a place in India's World Cup squad in 2003 but lost out to Dinesh Mongia.

Despite playing a few classy innings in ODIs, the very very special batsman averages a modest 30.76, probably being the reason for his non-selection in World Cup squads. 

#4 Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Kanitkar with Tendulkar and Robin Singh

Hrishikesh Kanitkar will always be remembered for his winning boundary against Pakistan at Dhaka in 1998, where India miraculously chased a target of over 300 to lift the Independence Cup.

Unfortunately, Kanitkar did not have much to rejoice after that. In the 34 games that the all-rounder played for India, he scored 339 runs at an average of 17.84 and took 17 wickets. Kanitkar failed to make the cut for India's World Cup squad in 1999.

#5 Hemang Badani

Badani raises his bat after scoring a half-century

Hemang Badani was one of those players who was always on the fringes but never got a long run in the ODI side. The left-hand batsman was a prolific run-scorer in domestic cricket and was selected in the ODI team on numerous occasions.

Badani played just 40 matches in an ODI career spanning four years. He scored 867 runs at an average of 33.34 in his ODIs. The Tamil Nadu batsman was rated highly in the domestic circuit and will be disappointed not to have played more matches for the country. 

#6 Dinesh Karthik

Can Karthik make it to India's squad for World Cup 2019

When Dinesh Karthik made his International debut in 2004, he was considered as the one for the future. The wicket-keeper batsman impressed everyone with his wicket-keeping skills and was also solid with the bat. Unfortunately, he lacked consistency and was in and out of the ODI side.

Karthik was selected in India's squad for World Cup 2007 but did not get a game because of India's early exit from the tournament.

However, Karthik can still fulfill his dream of playing for the country in the World Cup as he is in line for a place in the squad for the 2019 World Cup that will be held in England. 

#7 Irfan Pathan

Irfan was part of India's World Cup squad in 2007

Irfan Pathan is one of those few unfortunate cricketers who despite having played more than 100 ODI matches haven't played in a World Cup match. After a promising start to his career, Irfan faded away slowly as he lost the swing and control from his bowling.

He did make a number of comebacks in the national side and had reasonable success too. However, he couldn't cement a place in the Indian side. Like Karthik, Pathan too made it to India's 2007 World Cup squad but wasn't picked in the playing XI. The all-rounder has 173 wickets in 120 matches to his name. 

#8 Amit Mishra

Mishra has a phenomenal ODI record to his name

Amit Mishra made his ODI debut way back in 2003. Since then, he has played only 36 ODIs for team India. In the initial part of his career, he had to fight for a place in the Indian team with the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

At the time when he was at the peak of his career, he faced competition from Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. In spite of the fact that the 36-year-old was never given enough time to prove himself as an ODI cricketer, he has a terrific ODI record.

The leg-spinner has taken 64 ODI wickets in just 36 matches at an average of 23.60. With such impressive numbers, Mishra will consider himself unlucky not to have played in the World Cup. 

#9 Murali Kartik

Kartik reacts after dismissing Atapattu

Murali Kartik was another spinner who was deprived of chances at the international level because of the tough competition for a place in the Indian team's spin department.

The steady left-arm spinner played 37 matches in his ODI career taking 37 wickets. However, due to the presence of other stalwarts in the game, the left-arm spinner did not get ample opportunities. 

#10 Praveen Kumar

Praveen was used extensively with the new ball by Dhoni

Praveen Kumar rose to the ranks under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Kumar shot into prominence after his breakthrough performance in the Tri-series in Australia in 2008. His ability to get swing with the new ball made him instant success and he was a regular member of the Indian ODI side.

Owing to his good performances, the Meerut lad was included in India's World Cup squad in 2011. But that is when misfortune struck for Kumar as he suffered an elbow injury and was ruled out of the tournament, a tournament India went on to win.

#11 Ishant Sharma

Ishant was selected for World Cup 2015

Ishant Sharma has been around for a long time now. Apart from playing 90 Tests for the country so far, the lanky pacer has played 80 ODIs as well. Even though Sharma's economy rate is on a higher side in ODIs, he has bowled some memorable spells, one being in the final of the Champions Trophy 2013 for India.

Ishant's outstanding record in Australian conditions paved a way to his selection in the World Cup squad in 2015 but just before the tournament began, he was ruled out due to a knee injury. Ishant last played an ODI in 2016.