The most prized trophy in World Cricket is the ICC Cricket World Cup which the England cricket team won in 2019. It is every cricket player’s dream to get selected on their national team for the World Cup. Everybody wants to be on the big stage and win the World Cup for their team. Not everyone gets a chance to play in the World Cup.
As a cricketer, your first dream is to get picked in the squad which is going to play the World Cup and after that, you want to be part of the playing XI as well. But there are some players who were just part of the squad and didn’t get a single game throughout the tournament. So, let’s have a look at six popular players who had to warm the benches throughout the World Cup.
#6 Tom Latham – 2015
Tom Latham, who is currently the wicket-keeper batsman for New Zealand in the 50-over-format was picked in the 2015 World Cup Squad. At the age of 22, he was picked as a reserve batsman in the middle-order. The Blackcaps were absolutely brilliant throughout the tournament as they didn’t lose a single game until the Final.
As a result, the Kiwis didn’t make many changes to their team and hence Latham didn’t get a chance to feature in the XI. But in 2019, Latham was the first-choice wicket-keeper in the team and played a key role for his team.
#5 Sheldon Cottrell – 2015
The left-arm swing bowler who was the opening bowler for West Indies in the 2019 World Cup was also picked in the 2015 World Cup squad but didn’t get a chance to play a game.
Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor were the first-choice pacers whereas the other places were taken by seam bowling all-rounders like Jason Holder, Darren Sammy, and Andre Russell. As a result, Cottrell had to warm the benches but currently, he is one of the top left-armers in world cricket.
#4 Axar Patel – 2015
Axar Patel was picked in the 2015 World Cup as a back-up spinner for Ashwin and Jadeja. Both the spinners were doing their job and just like New Zealand, even India didn’t lose a single game until the semi-final against Australia.
MS Dhoni doesn’t like tinkering with the team and hence there weren’t many changes in the playing XI which resulted in Axar Patel not getting a single game.
#3 Irfan Pathan – 2007
2007 World Cup is a disastrous one for the Indian team. They managed to win only against Bermuda and were defeated by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India got to play only 3 games and couldn’t make it to the next round.
Irfan Pathan who was part of the 2007 World Cup squad didn’t get a chance to feature in any of the matches because the World Cup just ended so early for India.
The all-rounder from Baroda might have got a chance later on in the tournament had we reached the next round but that was not the case and he had to just watch India getting knocked out of the World Cup.
#2 Ambati Rayudu – 2015
Ambati Rayudu, who was left out of the 2019 World Cup squad in place of Vijay Shankar was part of the 2015 World Cup squad in Australia but didn’t get a game. India’s batting which had struggled up until the World Cup was absolutely phenomenal during the World Cup.
The likes of Kohli, Sharma, Dhawan, Rahane & Raina scored heavily and hence it was almost impossible for Rayudu to get a chance. As mentioned earlier, Dhoni doesn’t like to tinker with playing XI, and hence he didn’t make any changes.
#1 Mitchell Johnson – 2007
It is hard to imagine a player like Mitchell Johnson was sitting out for a whole tournament unless and until he is inured but that was the case in the 2007 World Cup which Australia won.
Australia had the likes of Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, and Shaun Tait. Australia didn’t lose a single game in the full World Cup and hence there weren’t many changes in the playing XI. As a result, Johnson had to sit out but the left-armer played an integral part in the 2015 World Cup win for Australia.