There is no bigger honor than representing your nation at the biggest stage in the world. And the ICC Cricket World Cup is the biggest stage for any cricketer. Players use the World Cup call as a motivation to work hard in the nets. But it doesn’t always pan out that way. A few Cricketers, despite making a name for themselves in the international cricket, have not played a single World Cup game in their career. Indian Cricket team has especially seen a lot of such unfortunate cases due to intense competition for the place in the team. Here are 10 Indians who never played the Cricket World Cup:
It is a crime that a batsman of Wasim Jaffer’s caliber was not given enough opportunities to prove himself. The Mumbaikar has represented India in 31 tests and mere 2 ODIs. The finest batsman in the Indian domestic circuit, Jaffer is the most capped and record run-scorer in Ranji Trophy.
After playing 2 ODIs against South Africa in 2006, Jaffer was never even considered for the limited overs format, let alone the World Cup. But the legendary batsman is still going strong at the age of 41, finishing as Vidharbha’s highest run scorer in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, with 763 runs in eight matches.
Erapalli Prasanna is one of the best off-spinners India has ever produced. He was a part of India’s famous ‘Spin Quartet’, along with Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and Bishen Singh Bedi in 1970s.
Prasanna took 189 wickets in just 49 tests he played for India. He also ruled the first-class cricket with his spin-web, taking 957 wickets in 235 matches. But unfortunately Prasanna never even made an ODI debut as he wasn’t selected for the inaugural 1975 World Cup. And with his retirement in 1978, India missed out on a legendary spinner in the World Cups.
RP Singh has been a part of a number of great memories in the Indian Cricket, the inaugural T20 World Cup, test victory at the WACA in 2008 and many more. But Singh, famous for his in-swinging balls, never played a single game in the 50-over World Cup.
The UP-born bowler has represented India in 58 ODIs, taking 69 wickets. Singh made his ODI debut in 2005 and was in and out of the team due to his inconsistent performances. That was until India’s tour of England in 2011, where RP Singh could not make use of the swinging conditions. The left-arm bowler never played for India after that.
Cheteshwar Pujara is arguably India’s best test batsman at the moment. The 31-year old has scored 5000+ runs in 68 tests at an average of 51. But Pujara has played just 5 ODIs in his career, let alone a World Cup game. And it doesn’t look like he will ever get to represent India at the World Cups.
Pujara made his ODI debut in 2013 against Zimbabwe when the first choice team was given a rest. And after playing against Bangladesh in a similar bilateral series in 2014, Pujara’s name has never been discussed for the white ball cricket. Often compared with Rahul Dravid due to his temperament in the test cricket, Pujara comes nowhere near ‘The Wall’ in ODIs.
Parthiv Patel’s international career has been an unfortunate one, to say the least. After becoming the youngest wicket keeper to make a test debut in 2002, the pocket dynamo was picked for the 2003 World Cup. But the Indian team decided to use Rahul Dravid as a makeshift wicketkeeper to include an extra bowler or batsman in the playing XI.
The southpaw was a mere tourist in South Africa, warming the bench throughout the tournament. And after MS Dhoni’s rise in the limited overs, no other wicket keeper ever got an opportunity in World Cups – and they still don’t.
Parthiv played 38 ODIs, with his last one coming in 2012, but he never played a World Cup game.
A possible exceptional career ruined due to lack of opportunities in the squad. Amit Mishra made his debut in 2003 when Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were simply irreplaceable in the Indian team. Ashwin and Jadeja came after the legendary spin duo and now with Kuldeep and Chahal, Mishra simply can’t catch a break.
The leg break bowler got a few opportunities here and there, but could only feature in 36 ODIs in the last 16 years. Since his debut, India has participated in four different World Cups, but Mishra could never make it to the squad.
Most of us don’t even remember it but Praveen Kumar was originally picked for the 2011 World Cup. An injured elbow ruled Kumar out of the tournament and Sreesanth replaced him, only to end up with the World Cup Winner’s medal. Talk about Luck!
A quality swing bowler when fit, Kumar never really got another chance due to his injury issues and hasn’t played for India since 2012. He has taken 77 wickets in 68 ODIs but missed out on what would have been a certain ‘Dream Come True’ moment.
There was something weird about a number of India’s quality swing bowlers in the first decade of the 21st century. RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and many more –They all impressed with their swing at the start of the career but were very inconsistent and failed to manage the workload to keep themselves fit, the most important for any fast bowler. And the biggest example of this has to be Irfan Pathan!
Pathan was seen as the next Kapil Dev by many at the start of his career, thanks to his all-rounding abilities. And Pathan lived up to the expectations by becoming the fastest to complete the double -1000 runs and 100 wickets in just 1059 days.
But his career never really took off due to injuries and inconsistencies. He was even selected for the 2007 World Cup but did not play any of the three games. With 173 wickets in 120 ODIs, Irfan’s career should have gone from strength to strength. But the all-rounder last played for India in 2012 and recently retired from the game –Without ever playing a World Cup game.
Ishant Sharma has been India’s bowling leader for almost a decade in the red ball cricket. With 267 wickets in 90 tests, Sharma is only behind Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan in the list of most wickets by an Indian pacer.
But that is nowhere near the case in the white-ball cricket. Since making his ODI debut in 2007, Ishant never really sealed his place in the squad, taking 115 wickets in 80 ODIs. The lanky pacer was surprisingly a part of India’s 2013 Champions Trophy campaign, where he turned the final, with two wickets in two balls. But India’s new pace-attack in ODIs means Ishant hasn’t even put on the Blue jersey after 2016.
Ishant hasn’t played a single World Cup game in his career despite playing 90 test matches and is nearing a unique record. Which record, you ask?
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The legend of the Indian test Cricket, VVS Laxman is the only Indian to have never played a World Cup match despite playing more than 100 test matches. Laxman was, without a doubt, one of the most technically gifted batsmen of all time. But he never really found his groove in the ODIs, averaging just 30 in 86 games.
Due to his performances in ODIs, Laxman was never really in the race for the World Cup squads. At least that’s what the selectors felt. The Hyderabad-born batsman decided to focus on tests as well, finishing with 8000+ runs in 134 tests at an average of 45.