The upcoming World Cup in India could mark an end for many top players from major ICC events. We explore a few.
Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)Tamim Iqbal had retired from international cricket ahead of the World Cup but intervention from the Prime Minister made him take a U-turn within 24 hours. However, the next time he makes that call, he may not be asked to reconsider. Tamim has had a glittering ODI career, scoring over 8,000 runs and is his side’s highest run-getter in the format. With plenty of injuries that have come his way in the recent past, it will be interesting to see how much longer he plays at this level post this World Cup.
He had retired from T20Is in 2022, having last played in the format in 2020, with not much success. To his credit, though, he is the only T20I centurion for Bangladesh.
Joe Root (England)
England’s highest run-getter in their triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign, Joe Root could be playing his last big event. He has not been considered in T20Is for some time now, having last played the 20-over format for England in 2019. The 32-year-old will be playing his third 50-over World Cup and has three fifties and as many centuries from 17 matches in the tournament so far. With 6,246 runs in the format, Root is the second-highest run-getter for England in ODIs and will go down as one of their greatest players, but as far as major ICC tournaments go, this could very well be last, given that the next World Cup is four years away.
Wesley Barresi (Netherlands)
An attacking top-order batter and a safe gloveman, Wesley Barresi is set to make his final appearance in the 2023 World Cup. He has not played T20Is for the Dutch since 2019. Born in Johannesburg, Barresi had retired from international cricket in 2021 but returned to the fold the following year. He played for the Netherlands in the World Cup Qualifiers earlier this year, occupying the all-important No. 3 spot, scoring 223 runs at a strike-rate of 98.23. With Scott Edwards leading and keeping wickets, Barresi’s services are no longer needed behind the wickets. In fact, he has not kept wickets for Netherlands since 2014. He his the fourth-highest run-getter for his country, having accumulated 1,193 runs at 30.58 so far.
Mohammad Shami (India)Mohammad Shami will be 37 when the next World Cup comes along and the 2023 edition could be the last of Shami in mega events. He had had his share of injuries, the most recent being the shoulder injury that kept him out of the ODIs against Bangladesh in December. Post the 2023 World Cup, India at some point would be considering their options for the 2027 edition. With Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj set to lead the attack in the near future, they might consider moulding another fast bowler who could be an option for the marquee event. The likes of Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan are some of the contenders who could potentially replace the pacer.
As far his T20 World Cup aspirations go, he certainly would be a surprise pick. Incidentally, he last played a T20I for India in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Adelaide last year. India have played 15 games since then, and Shami has not featured in any of them. Signs maybe?
David Warner (Australia)While there’s little doubt that David Warner will be an integral figure in Australia’s batting line-up in the 2023 World Cup, will he be part of the side at the T20 World Cup next year? While there’s a gap of less than seven months between the end of the 2023 World Cup and the start of the 2024 T20 World Cup, can Warner push on? He is set to retire from Test cricket at the end of this year, and by the time the 2024 edition comes around, the southpaw will be 37.
Since his player of the series winning performance, he has slammed 393 runs at a strike-rate of 147 which are excellent numbers. However, in the previous edition last year, he managed just 97 runs at 19.40 with 53 of those coming in the first game against New Zealand.
Australia have played just three matches since last year’s T20 World Cup, which came against South Africa recently. Steven Smith was due to open with Travis Head in that series before an injury ruled him out. Is that the direction Australia will go for the 2024 World Cup as well? If so, it marks an end to Warner’s Australia career at major events.
Rohit Sharma/Virat Kohli (India)
Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli or both for the T20 World Cup? While there is little doubt that they are two of the greatest white-ball players in the world, does it make sense to have both of them in the squad? Rohit was in sublime form in the 2019 50-over World Cup, hitting five centuries, while Kohli, who was going through a lean patch has suddenly found his mojo across formats.
But Rohit has not been at his best in the last couple of IPL seasons, while Kohli’s weakness against spin in the middle-overs has been noted by many teams and have found a way to keep him quiet. While it is unlikely that both players will walk away from the format at the same time, it gives India an opportunity to groom a few players who could potentially replace them over the next 7-8 months.
The two have close to 8,000 T20I runs and over 70 50-plus scores in the format and are without a doubt irreplaceable. But this could be an ideal time to give a few a look in. The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma and even Davdutt Padikkal, or even Sanju Samson (?) could be the ones to fill the hole.
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