With less than 10 days to go, dreams have already been crushed for a few players, while for others who were initially passed over, the chance to shine on the biggest stage of all, beckons.
Out go Michael Hussey, Nathan Hauritz, Praveen Kumar and Eoin Morgan – all ruled out due to different injuries; by no means, this list is complete. Expect few others (mostly from England) to join this list in the coming days.
In come Callum Ferguson, Jason Krejza, Sreesanth and Ravi Bopara – who all (with the exception of Krejza) had reasons to be aggrieved due to their exclusions from the original squads.
Hussey’s absence is a huge blow for a struggling Australian batting line-up. They might have won the recent ODI series at home comfortably, but in the subcontinent, against fresher sides they will need someone of Hussey’s experience and caliber to pull them through the inevitable collapses that are bound to happen. Callum Ferguson has an impressive record in ODIs, but he has huge shoes to fill.
The loss of Hauritz is another blow. While he was fit during the Ashes, the selectors were blind to him; but when they pick him for the World Cup, he comes down with an injury. He is possibly the only threatening spinner in Australia and Krejza will not have the same impact as Hauritz, despite his heroics in India on Test debut.
I am not too sure about how much Praveen Kumar’s absence will be felt. Despite being an important part of the bowling attack for a while, of late he has dropped off in form (possibly related to his fitness issues). So, it might be a blessing in disguise for India to get a fitter, more fiery Sreesanth instead.
On the other hand, England’s chances just took a hit after Morgan’s exclusion. He was the major reason for England’s improved ODI performances and his ice cool temperament with innovative strokes will be missed. Bopara is in good form, and it remains to be seen whether he can replicate that in the World Cup. To make matters worse, there are still a few others in the squad, over whom injury concerns still remain. Even if one or two of them can’t make it, England can kiss their chances good-bye.