Predicting 5 surprising omissions from T20 World Cup 2021

All the teams will be hoping to put out their best squad on the field to grab the biggest prize that the T20I format of the game has to offer.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

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In the months of October and November, the cricketing world will witness the biggest spectacle in the T20I format of the game. The deserts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will turn into a battleground, as the top teams in the world of cricket will take part in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup.

Surely, all the teams will be hoping to put out their best side on the field to grab the biggest prize that the T20I format of the game has to offer. The game of cricket is one that is filled with twists and turns, and we can expect several unexpected events to transpire in the sport.

And, with the T20 World Cup less than two months away, let us take a look at 5 surprising omissions of the 2021 T20 World Cup this year.

5. Alex Carey

Alex Carey has surely not had a good run with the willow in T20I cricket in the recent past. Carey has endured a miserable run in T20Is played in 2021. In the 8 innings that he has played this year, the left-handed batsman has scored just 57 runs at a poor average of 8.14.

Also, Carey has recorded 5 single-digit scores in the 8 innings that he has played this year, and has not even scored above 20 even once with the willow in hand.

Australia has Matthew Wade who can take care of the wicket-keeping duties in the T20 World Cup in the absence of Carey. With such a poor run in 2021 thus far, Alex Carey might miss out on a berth in the Aussie squad for the T20 World Cup this year.

4. Chris Gayle

It almost seems as if Chris Gayle has been playing T20 cricket for eternity. The West Indian batting colossus will qualify as one of the greatest T20 batsmen ever. But then, Gayle has endured a horrible run in the recent past with the willow for the West Indian side.

In his last 6 innings, the left-handed batting behemoth has not crossed the 25-run mark and has also recorded 3 single-digit scores in this period. Also, Gayle is already 41 years old and is not getting younger anymore.

The West Indies have the likes of Andre Fletcher, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Shimron Hetmeyer, and Andre Russell who can pulverize the opposition with the bat, and Gayle might not feature in the West Indian squad for the multi-nation tournament this year.

3. Shoaib Malik

Another veteran who might not feature in the 2021 T20 World Cup is Shoaib Malik. Malik has been a mainstay of the Pakistan side for a decade and a half at the international level in the T20I format of the game. But then, the 39-year-old veteran has struggled to get going in recent times in T20I cricket.

In his last 10 innings in T20Is, Malik has been dismissed for a score of less than 20 on 8 occasions. Also, his only fifty in his last 10 innings came at home against the Bangladesh side way back in January 2020.

Clearly, Malik’s best days are behind him, and his fortunes have plummeted with the willow. And, the Pakistan cricketing legend might miss the bus for the T20 World Cup this year.

2. Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav made a return to the Indian side in the T20I format of the game after more than a year and a half in India’s series against Sri Lanka that took place in the month of July. But then, the left-arm China man bowler failed to make an impact with the ball.

Kuldeep played 2 matches in the series and could scalp just 2 wickets. He also gave away runs at an economy rate of 7.67 runs per over in the series and was not impressive. Also, India has a truckload of options in the spin bowling department.

There is left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who is a sure-shot pick, there is Yuzvendra Chahal, who is the highest wicket taker in the T20I format of the game for the Indian side, who will also be picked in the squad. And, throw in Krunal Pandya, who can also bat, and Varun Chakravarthy, who has a plethora of variations up his sleeve, we find that Kuldeep Yadav might not find a place in the already populated Indian spin bowling department.

1. Sarfaraz Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed has not managed to find a spot in the Pakistan T20I side on a regular basis recently. The wicket-keeper batsman has played just 2 T20Is since January 2020 for Pakistan. Also, Sarfaraz has struggled to get going with the willow in the recent innings that he has played.

In his last 12 innings in T20I cricket, Sarfaraz has scored less than 20 on 7 occasions and has failed to contribute significantly with the willow. And, Mohammad Rizwan’s meteoric rise with the willow has meant that he has become the first-choice wicketkeeper for the Pakistan side in the T20I format of the game.

Rizwan has scored a whopping 752 runs in T20Is played in 2021 and has scored his runs at an average of 94.00, and a strike rate of 140.04. The right-handed batsman has also scored a staggering 7 half-centuries and a century in 2021 alone.

Rizwan’s rise has coincided with Sarfaraz Ahmed’s fall and the veteran cricketer has not been able to find a spot in the Pakistan side as the wicket-keeper batsman anymore. And at the age of 34, a comeback into the Pakistan side for the 2021 T20 World Cup looks bleak for Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Note: All the stats have been taken from Howstat cricket, Cricinfo, and Cricbuzz and have been updated as on 18th August 2021.