3. Peter Handscomb - Australia
Peter Handscomb was touted as the savior, and his performance against India at home and away proved that Justin Langer had got it spot on. In the 13 matches since being reinstated in the ODIs, Handscomb has scored 479 runs at 43.55.
He was one of the catalysts to Australia's ODI wins in India, and in those 13 matches he had a strike-rate of 93.5 against spin. He averaged 47 in five matches against India in India; scoring 236 runs in the bilateral series.
With a year's ban on Steven Smith and David Warner from international cricket, Australia had founded a quality batsman with the ability to handle spin and quicks effectively in Handscomb. But now with the availability of both Smith and Warner, the selectors have gone for reputation rather than form.
Selector Trevor Hohns stated: "Pete (Handscomb) was desperately unlucky. I can't deny that. Just so happened that Steven Smith and David Warner were coming back, someone had to miss out and we think Steven can play the same role that Peter did in the batting line up."
This is a courageous call because Australia only has one specialist back-up batsman in the squad.
Apart from Handscomb, it is fair to say that Australia have the best players at their disposal to win the World Cup for an unprecedented sixth time.
4. Dinesh Chandimal - Sri Lanka
Dinesh Chandimal is one of the biggest names to have missed out from Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad, on the grounds of lack of big runs.
Chandimal was the captain of the ODI team as recently as the home series against England in October, which England won 3-1. But he has scored a meager 863 runs in 27 matches across all formats since 2018, at an ordinary average of 31.96.
At the start of his career Chandimal was praised as a batsman with immense potential and class, but he never really did justice to his capabilities.
5. Rishabh Pant - India (WK)
The Indian selectors had to choose between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant for the back-up wicket-keeper option in the squad for World Cup 2019. And they went with the experience of Karthik, leaving out the aggression and fearlessness of Pant.
Karthik has been scoring runs in the limited opportunities he has been getting in the Indian team. And as for Pant, he has been destroying bowlers all around the park in the ongoing IPL.
But Pant fans should not be too disappointed with this decision. The 21-year-old star can certainly be expected to manifest his potential in Indian colors in the next global ICC event.Published 25 Apr 2019, 03:13 IST