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These top players will be missing from T20 World Cup and why it's a big deal

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Here is a look at some big names who we will not see performing in the T20 World Cup.

These top players will be missing from T20 World Cup and why it's a big deal
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 is four days old and we already have three moments worth savouring. First was Scotland's shock win over Bangladesh. Then came Irish speedster Curtis Campher's 4 in 4. And finally Namibia's first win in T20 World Cup.
With big boys of cricket still to take centre stage and 22 days of action still pending, cricket buffs are sure to be left with enough moments to be cherished once the last ball of the final is bowled at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on November 14.
Despite the rouse, something feels amiss. A closer inspection of the squads for the T20 World Cup will tell that some of the biggest stars in cricket are not in the UAE or Oman. For reasons ranging from personal to 'fitness standards', some world-class cricketers are missing in action from the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup.  The presence of these players could have elevated the level of the T20 World Cup to an extraordinary level.
Here is why these players are missing from T20 World Cup 2021 and why their absence is a big deal.
1. Sunil Narine 
West Indies' Sunil Narine (Image: Reuters) West Indies' Sunil Narine (Image: Reuters)
The absence of Sunil Narine from the West Indies squad defies all cricketing logic. Narine last played in a maroon shirt in a T20I match against India in August 2019. When the West Indies squad for the T20 World Cup was announced, Narine's omission was attributed to  'fitness standards'. But the reasoning isn't justified considering the West Indies team recalled fast bowler Ravi Rampaul who is 37 and last played a T20I game for the West Indies in 2015. The 42-year-old Chris Gayle is also in the squad. Also, Narine's 'fitness standards are not good enough to merit a spot in the West Indies squad, but the spinner is fit enough to complete an IPL season.
Why Narine's absence is a big deal?
Narine's tricks with the white ball are well known. Since August 2019, only Rashid Khan has picked more wickets in T20 cricket than Narine.  Narine's recent form has been superb. In the Caribbean Premier League 2021, the spinner picked 12 wickets from 10 matches at an average of 14.58 and an economy of 4.37. Narine's form in the Indian Premier League was even better where he claimed 16 wickets from 14 games at an average of 24.88 and an economy of 6.58.  Moreover, in an IPL game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Narine showed that he can 'turn' the matches with the willow too.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
India's Shikhar Dhawan (Image: Reuters) India's Shikhar Dhawan (Image: Reuters)
Shikhar Dhawan is the case of 'problem of plenty' and T20 being labelled as a 'young man's game', despite the results showing otherwise. At the moment there are plenty of Indian batters who can open the batting. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma can in no way be ignored. Then, there is a chance of Ishan Kishan opening the innings too, as was the case on his T20I debut. Then, we never know, when Virat Kohli feels the strong urge to open the innings. Don't forget, Kohli is a regular opener for RCB.  Dhawan is 35 and the four other batters competing for an opening slot are younger than him.
Why Dhawan's absence is a big deal?
The last one and half seasons of the IPL have happened in the UAE and Dhawan has scored runs in the country almost at will. In the 2020 edition of the IPL, Dhawan was the second-highest run scored with 618 runs. In the 2021 season, Dhawan scored 587 runs. His outings with the Indian team in Sri Lanka in July,  were not bad either as he scored 46 and 40 in two T20I matches.  Also, the left-hand batter loves playing in the ICC tournaments.
3. Tamim Iqbal
Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal (Image: Reuters) Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal (Image: Reuters)
Another left-hand opener who has been left out from his country's T20 World Cup squad is Bangladesh's, Tamim Iqbal. The opener suffered a knee injury during the Test series against Sri Lanka in April. Tamim is yet to be back to full fitness and missed the home T20I series against Australia and New Zealand. It was Tamim's own call to withdraw himself from the selection of Bangladesh's squad for the World Cup.
Why Tamim's absence is a big deal?
Bangladesh's chances of qualifying for the next round of the World Cup, hang by a thread. And one reason for that is Bangladesh's struggle at the top of the order. In Tamim's absence, Bangladesh has failed to score runs quickly in the Powerplay. Tamim's experience and attacking instincts would have been enough to take care of the opening woes. Tamim has a stellar T20 record which has seen him play 229 matches scoring 6479 runs with a high score of 141* hitting 3 hundred and 40 fifties in the process. Ask Mahmudullah, how much he is missing Tamim at the moment.
4.  Faf du Plessis
South Africa's Faf du Plessis (Image: Reuters)
Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will not be seen in the action in the UAE. du Plessis retired from Test cricket in February 2021 but had expressed his desire to represent South Africa in the T20 World Cup. But du Plessis was not selected for the South African squad. The prime reason for du Plessis' absence is that he is no longer a contracted player with Cricket South Africa.  Explaining the rationale behind du Plessis' omission from the South African squad,  Director of Cricket South Africa  Graeme Smith said: "When you are working with free agents, you have to come together. You have to find that balance that works for both the team and the free agents. With Faf in particular, we struggled to find that balance,”
Why du Plessis absence is a big deal?
du Plessis' current form has been sublime. In CPL 2021, du Plessis scored 277 runs with a high score of 120*. du Plessis scored those runs at a strike rate of 143.25. The South African batter's form in IPL 2021  was even better as he finished with 633 runs at an average of 45.21 hitting six half-centuries. du Plessis is also an excellent fielder. He took 12 catches each in the 2020 season of the IPL, most by a player. In the 2021 season, he took the same number of catches but his efforts were second best, only bettered by his Chennai Super Kings' teammate Ravindra Jadeja by one.
5. Imran Tahir
South Africa's Imran Tahir (Image: Reuters) South Africa's Imran Tahir (Image: Reuters)
Another aging, but deserving South African who did not find his name in Proteas' World Cup squad is Imran Tahir. If Tahir's version of the story is to be believed, then the spinner did not hear anything from the team management over his involvement in South African cricket. Tahir had informed Smith about his desire to play T20 World Cup. But there was radio silence from the side of Smith and head coach Mark Bouncer and Tahir was eventually snubbed from the squad.
Why Tahir's absence is a big deal?
Tahir is a willy leg spinner. He brings in a wealth of T20 experience having played league cricket across the globe. Tahir has played 334 T20 games and picked 420 wickets with the best bowling efforts of 5.23 and has a T20 career economy of 6.96. Surely, South Africa could have used Tahir's leg spinners to good use.
6. Ben Stokes
England's Ben Stokes (Image: Reuters) England's Ben Stokes (Image: Reuters)
Ben Stokes is not part of England's World Cup squad as he continues his indefinite break from cricket to prioritise his mental health.  Ahead of the home Test series against India, Stokes had informed the England and Wales Cricket Board that he had taken an indefinite break from all forms of cricket with immediate effect to prioritise his mental well-being. As a result, Stokes was unavailable for the selection for the World Cup squad.
Why Stokes'  absence is a big deal?
Stokes is no longer the player who conceded four sixes in four balls against Carlos Brathwaite and let West Indies win the 2016 T20 World Cup. Stokes has since then evolved into a world-class all-rounder and every captain's dream match-winner.  Stokes was single-handedly delivered two of England's most famous wins in recent times. In 148 T20 matches, Stokes has scored 2865 runs and picked 86 wickets. Stokes is also a brilliant fielder. Stokes is an opposition captain's envy and a fantasy player's delight. Stokes' pyrotechnics will sorely be missed by England.
7. Sam Curran
England's Sam Curran (Image: Reuters) England's Sam Curran (Image: Reuters)
England skipper Eoin Morgan would have hoped that Sam Curran would have filled the void left behind Ben Stokes. But that will no longer be the case. Sam Curran was initially named in England's World Cup squad. But a lower back injury not only cut short, Curran's IPL 2021 season, but also ruled him out of the World Cup. One Curran's loss, is another Curran's gain, as Sam's brother Tom was then called as the replacement.
Why Curran's absence is a big deal?
Sam Curran is slowly growing himself in the mould of Ben Stokes, i.e. a genuine match-winner. Ask the Indian team about it. Curran was a thorn in Indian captain Virat Kohli's eye, during India's away Test series against England back in 2018. More recently, Curran hit a valiant 95 in an ODI against India to almost deliver a series win for England. Curran can bowl at the start of an innings. He is capable enough to bowl the death overs. Curran is a decent enough stroke player which gave CSK skipper enough confidence to ask him to open an innings in an IPL 2020 match. Curran is a must-have in a T20 game.
8. Jofra Archer
England's Jofra Archer (Image: Reuters)
An elbow injury has meant that Jofra Archer will not only be out of action from the T20 World Cup but also the Ashes series. Archer is taking an extended break from cricket to take care of his right elbow which has suffered due to a recurrence stress fracture.
Why Archer's absence is a big deal?
Jofra Archer was IPL 2020's Most Valuable Player (Player of the Series) for his 20 wickets. Archer bowls very fast and is a batter's nightmare. In his 121 T20 games, Archer has claimed 153 wickets at an average of 22.52 and a strike rate of 17.60. Archer's maturity in the sport defies his age. Or else, why would a captain give the responsibility to a bowler, playing his first World Cup,  to bow an over, with World Cup at stake.
 
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