The T20 World Cup was last contested in 2016
The much-awaited T20 World Cup 2021 is right around the corner. With just about two weeks remaining before the action unfolds in the UAE and Oman, teams have started gearing up for the mega event that will be taking place after a long gap of five years.
The T20 World Cup 2021 will be the seventh edition of the tournament. The previous one was held in 2016, with the West Indies emerging victorious. The Windies have been the most successful team in the history of the competition, winning the title twice. India, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, were the winners of the inaugural edition in 2007.
With the T20 World Cup 2021 scheduled to commence on October 17th, teams have already announced their 15-man squads. They are, however, allowed to make changes until October 10th. The Indian squad announcement saw quite a few surprising choices – right from the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin to the exclusion of star players like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan.
Since the T20 World Cup will be taking place after a gap of five years, teams are bound to see drastic changes to their squads that featured in 2016. In this article, we take a look at five star players who were part of India’s T20 World Cup 2016 squad, but will not feature this time around.
5 star Indian players from the 2016 T20 World Cup who won’t play in the 2021 edition
While a few players have since announced their retirement, some couldn’t manage to make the cut. However, all five players were an integral part of the Indian setup during the T20 World Cup 2016.
#1 MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni will return in Indian colours as a mentor
MS Dhoni will certainly be the biggest name missing from India’s 15-man T20 World Cup 2021 squad. Notably, this will be Team India’s first T20 World Cup appearance without their former skipper.
Dhoni, who announced his international retirement in 2020, amassed 89 runs in five matches during the T20 World Cup 2016. His brilliant effort to run out Mustafizur Rahman in the last ball of the game against Bangladesh would certainly go down as one of his most memorable events from the tournament.
But Dhoni will be seen in the Indian dressing room once again this time around, albeit in a different role. Named the team mentor, his vast experience is bound to add a layer of confidence to the Indian squad going into the tournament.
#2 Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh has been one of the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket
Yuvraj Singh has been India’s hero in the nation’s recent World Cup triumphs. Having played a huge role in helping Team India win the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup, the all-rounder won’t be seen in the T20 World Cup 2021.
The southpaw featured in 31 T20 World Cup matches in Indian colors, scoring 593 runs in 28 innings. One of the tournament’s most iconic moments was when Yuvraj smashed England pacer Stuart Broad for six sixes in the 2007 edition.
One of the biggest match-winners India have ever produced, he announced his international retirement in 2019.
#3 Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra retired from international cricket in 2017
One of India’s most dependable bowlers, Ashish Nehra often played a crucial role for his nation in ICC events. His ability to swing the ball and generate pace helped him serve Team India for 18 long years between 1999 and 2017.
Nehra played a crucial part in the T20 World Cup 2016 by bowling at a brilliant economy rate of 5.94, picking up five crucial wickets in the process. While the former pacer won’t be missed, given the strength of the current Indian bowling lineup, he will certainly be a big name missing from the tournament this time around. Nehra announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2017.
#4 Shikhar Dhawan
Dhawan’s exclusion from the T20 World Cup squad came as a surprise to many
Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions the Indian selectors had to make while announcing their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 was leaving out destructive opener Shikhar Dhawan to make space for youngsters in the team. The decision has been debated by fans and analysts alike, given his good form for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul being India’s first-choice openers in the shortest format, Dhawan’s low flexibility to bat anywhere else in the batting order might have gone against him.
With a fantastic record in IPL and ICC events, Shikhar Dhawan will certainly be one of the biggest names missing from the T20 World Cup 2021.
#5 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina has played many fine knocks for team India
He may no longer be the same destructive batsman he once was, but Suresh Raina played a crucial role in the success of Team India over the years. With a healthy strike rate of 130.17 in the T20 World Cups, Raina’s contributions have been great for Indian cricket.
Raina couldn’t manage to create much of an impact in the 2016 T20 World Cup, managing just 41 runs across four innings.
The 34-year-old also has a T20 World Cup century to his name, managing the feat against South Africa in 2010. Raina announced his international retirement on 15th August 2020, mere minutes after Dhoni announced his.