One thing which every Indian cricket fan dreams about is lifting the World Cup for India. At some point in their life, everybody has been inspired by that iconic image of Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup in the Lord’s Balcony. Every four years teams fight it out for this special trophy.
It is very special for each and every player who gets to represent their country in the World Cup. But all cricketers can’t get that special opportunity. There are quite a few Indian players who have represented India in other formats but never got to play the World Cup. So, let’s have a look at five popular Indian cricketers who never played a single game in World Cup history.
#5 Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra is one of the most underrated spinners in world cricket. The 37-year-old leg-spinner has played 36 ODIs for India in which he has picked up 64 wickets with two five-wicket hauls. He even picked up a five-wicket haul in his last ODI for India.
He was a pretty handy leg-spinner and used to deceive a lot of batsmen around the globe. It was pretty unfortunate that he couldn’t get a place in the 2011 or 2015 World Cup squad but he continues to play in the IPL and perform well for Delhi Capitals.
#4 Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara is a necessity for the Indian team in the longest format. India can’t do without him in the Test format, but Pujara couldn’t crack the code for ODI cricket. He was part of the Indian side for a couple of series but couldn’t make an impact.
He played 5 ODIs with the highest score of 27. With the scoring rates going up drastically in the last 3-4 years, his strike-rate would have always been an issue. He is a solid batsman but you also need some more skills to play in the ODI format. Even though Pujara still has a long career in Test cricket, it looks very difficult for him to play a World Cup at this stage.
#3 Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma is just three Tests away from playing his 100th Test which would be a huge achievement being a fast bowler. But one thing which the tall fast bowler will miss is playing in the World Cup.
Sharma was decent in ODIs in the mid-2010s. He was a regular member of the Indian team and he was supposed to play in the 2015 World Cup. But unfortunately, an injury meant he was ruled out of the Cup and never got a chance again. He has played 80 ODIs in which he has picked up 115 wickets.
At this stage of his career, you don’t see him making a comeback in the ODI setup, and hence most probably he won’t play a World Cup for India.
#2 Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu has to be the unluckiest of these all. Rayudu was part of the 2015 World Cup squad but didn’t get a game. The Indian team did so well that he had to warm the benches throughout the Cup.
In 2019, 4-5 months before the World Cup his place was almost sure in the team but a string of low scores made the selectors drop him. Rayudu has a very good ODI record. He has played 55 ODIs with an average of 47.
After his omission from the World Cup side, he announced his retirement, but a month later he said he is ready to play all formats. Even though he might have come out of retirement but his dream of playing a World Cup game won’t be satisfied.
#1 VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman is considered to be a Test great for India. He has played many defining knocks for India against top nations. Everyone remembers his 281 at Kolkata against Australia. Laxman cracked the Test code but he never cracked it in ODIs.
He played 86 ODIs for India with an average of 30.8. Laxman was picked in the 2003 World Cup squad but there was a last-minute change and Dinesh Mongia was included in the place of Laxman. Laxman’s ODI career never really took off and as a result, he didn’t get a chance to play for India in the World Cup.