5 cricketers we’ll miss at the 2015 Cricket World Cup

The countdown to the biggest cricket extravaganza has officially begun! With less than 15 days to go for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, teams are gearing up for the epic battle in full swing. The pressure is intense, the focus is spot on, the clock’s ticking. Will defending champions India survive the toughest test of their caliber? Can South Africa create history? Will New Zealand finally make it count? Or will Australia get back on top? Only time will tell.

Along with new fervor and renewed aggression, this World Cup will also bring in a wave of transition for most teams. While the game continues to evolve in newer ways, there are cricketers who were once a part of this tournament but will be surely missed this time around:
 
1. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
 
 
Picture this: A World Cup clash between India and Pakistan without THAT familiar name at the top of India’s batting order. A stadium where chants of “Sachin Sachin” will not encore. Strange? Indeed. Even in his final World Cup appearance, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar racked up close to 500 runs in just 9 games – the highest by an Indian batsman in the tournament. It’s a given that all of us will miss him the most. Not just because he was India’s best bet on the big stage, but the aura he always carried. This will be India’s first World Cup without Tendulkar in a very long time! Sigh.
 
Of course, Team India will pretty much miss the whole of its 2011 side. Yuvraj, Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Harbhajan and the list goes on…
 
2. Brett Lee (Australia)
 
 
At 38, he’s still running in at express speed, breaking bats and intimidating batsmen. Brett Lee may have finally called it quits post the Big Bash League this year, yet it feels like he never left. With those grueling yorkers that rattle the stumps, Binga can be equally dangerous on the fast and bouncy pitches of Australia even today. The Aussies are a young bunch of talented cricketers, but they will certainly miss the fire and fear that Brett Lee brought to the table.
 
3. Jonathan Trott (England)
 
 
Ever since he left the last Ashes series owing to stress illness, Jonathan Trott hasn’t played for England at the national level. With an average of 60 and 400 plus runs, Trott was England’s leading run-scorer in the 2011 edition. Now, with Alastair Cook axed, Kevin Pietersen out of contention and Trott away, England will most likely suffer a lack of experience in their batting line-up. Can the young folks survive?
 
4. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
 
 
He may have been overshadowed by the likes of Amla and De Villiers of late, but Jacques Kallis remained South Africa’s go-to man for a long time. The Proteas will be looking for someone to fill those giant shoes that once belonged to Kallis. He was one of those rarecricketers to have consistently performed with bat and ball over the years. Who can dethrone the king?
 
5. Umar Gul (Pakistan)
 
 
One of the most underrated yet highly successful pace bowlers of Pakistan, Umar Gul has gradually proved to be an asset for his team. Unfortunately, the talented lad isn’t a part of Pakistan’s World Cup squad this year. With Junaid Khan now ruled out of the tournament, all hopes rest on the young bowling attack and a potential replacement. Gul, who is capable of extracting both seam and bounce, finished as Pakistan’s second-highest wicket taker in 2011 with 14 scalps.  
 
All said and done, let’s hope the absence of these players doesn’t hamper their respective teams. We’re more than just excited to witness one heck of a World Cup! Are you?

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