The last thing a World Cup squad needs is injuries, but sometimes they can be a blessing in disguise, and this looks to be the case with both England and Australia.
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Eoin Morgan has replaced Kevin Pietersen in England’s World Cup squad.
England has lost Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad, two key players, while Australia is without Doug Bollinger after the left-arm seamer picked up an ankle injury. These three are great cricketers, but England and Australia won’t be too distraught as the trio chosen as replacements are also match-winners in their own right.
The sublimely talented Eoin Morgan has replaced Pietersen, while the International Cricket Council’s event technical committee late Wednesday said it has approved Chris Tremlett as a replacement for Stuart Broad. Michael Hussey, one of the finest cricketers of his generation, has been called in to the Australia team.
Both squads look just as strong.
England might have missed Pietersen if he was in spectacular form, but his recent record in One-day Internationals is mixed at best, with his last century coming more than two years ago. Pietersen had been in decent form this World Cup – his innings against India was ticking along nicely until he was out to a freak catch by Munaf Patel, and he bowled well against South Africa – but he still failed to set the tournament alight.
England used Pietersen as an opening batsman this World Cup, so coach Andy Flower will have to tinker with his tactics, but he will be reassured to have a powerful batsman like Morgan coming in at number 5 or 6, an area where England has looked a little shaky so far. Morgan, like Pietersen, is an electric player and he should feel reinvigorated after spending a few weeks at home recovering from a broken finger.
The menacing Tremlett, meanwhile, will add fresh impetus to England’s bowling attack, which, apart from a magical spell against South Africa, has looked labored. Stuart Broad was integral to England’s stunning comeback against the Proteas, taking 4 for 15, but prior to that match he looked a shadow of his best as he struggled with injury and sickness.
Tremlett proved to be a priceless replacement on England’s successful Ashes tour in Australia and Flower will be hoping for a similar impact in the subcontinent, if he chooses him ahead of current squad member Ajmal Shahzad.
Australia’s World Cup campaign has so far been quiet. The reigning champions have been cruising along nicely, with their only real test coming against Sri Lanka in a match that was rained off anyway. Hussey would’ve been in the squad all along, were it not for a hamstring injury he picked up in a January match against England in Melbourne, so his team-mates will be happy to have him back.
Australia’s opponents will, meantime, be very wary of the threat posed by the man known by many as “Mr. Cricket.”
Fuente: India Real Time