Playing in the ODI World Cup is always a dream come true for any player. But some players gained all the fame and attention and couldn’t represent their countries on the world’s biggest stage.
We look at five such players who achieved the heights of popularity but could never make it to their ODI teams.
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Five Popular Cricketers Who Never Played the ODI World Cup
Representing your country is the dream of every cricketer. However, playing in the World Cup is an even bigger dream coming true. After much research, we have closed in on five players who couldn’t represent their country in the World Cup. One big reason they failed to feature in the limited-overs game was their one-dimensional approach to the game.
● VVS Laxman
Known as ‘very very special,’ Laxman was the perfect timer of the ball. His wrist work was too good, but his running between the wickets wasn’t. Moreover, his fielding wasn’t impressive. In 2003, India was looking to play aggressively. In such a scenario, Laxman wasn’t the right fit.
The team management completely ignored him and picked up someone like Dinesh Mongia. India reached the final, and Laxman never remained a viable option for the team in white-ball cricket. He played a few games but was dropped again. Laxman wasn’t selected for India’s 2007 World Cup squad.
Was Laxman a quality ODI batsman?
3. Failed to score a fifty against South Africa and England in ODIs in 11 attempts
Has Laxman won the Asia Cup in an Indian jersey? Get in-depth information on the Asia Cup winners list 1984 to 2022.
● Justin Langer
Australia’s Test specialist Justin Langer failed to make the cut for the ODI team as the team already had many white ball players. He did play eight ODIs, but that was in 1994. As years passed, he was overtaken by explosive white-ball specialists who would do the job more effectively and aggressively.
With Adam Gilchrist’s and Matthew Hayden’s emergence, there was no room to open in ODIs. Langer made peace with it and settled down as a red-ball specialist.
● Alastair Cook
The same was the case with former England captain Alastair Cook, who never played in an ODI World Cup despite being considered one of the greatest players. He, however, played 92 ODIs for England, accounting for 3204 runs.
Unfortunately, he played in an era where England was looking to restructure their limited-overs cricket, and an orthodox left-handed batter like Cook had no place in it.
● Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara is another big name who never played in the World Cup. The solid No. 3 had a terrific Test record. But his orthodox and defensive ways stuck with his public perception, and the team management never played him in an ODI match after a series against Bangladesh nine years ago. He played just five ODIs, scoring 51 runs.
● Azhar Ali
This Pakistan batter made a name for himself when he scored a double-century at the MCG against Australia. Ali would score loads of runs in Test match cricket but couldn’t match that same performance in ODIs. Despite making his international debut in 2010, he could play only 53 ODIs, staying on the periphery of international cricket forever.
These players would have been disappointed to have missed the ODI World Cup. But have achieved plenty in red-ball cricket and made invaluable contributions to their respective countries.
Modern-day cricket is interesting. Players will have to acclimatize and adjust to different formats of the game. The prerequisite to appear in the ODI World Cup is to become an excellent white-ball player. If you can’t do that, then you will be overlooked. The players mentioned above were such examples.