Another injury blow to the squad. This time it is Nathan Bracken.
There has been an on-going knee injury occurence for Bracks, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that it has struck just a few days before the teams first game against the Windies, as this is a frequent pattern of bad luck.
Wicket-keepers, batsmen, pace-bowlers and now our medium-pace swing weapon is out of the scene. What a pity!
Bracks didn't have any special performances in the ODI series against England, but he certainly had better control of his bowling, which is what has set him so high in the ranks. But he would have been a big part of the bowling plans, so a set-back once again.
This certainly puts Nathan Hauritz in the starting XI, rightly so, but it would seem Peter Siddle would be first choice over Ben Hilfenhaus as a pace option, purely on the fact that Hilfy's "no-ball" issues could cause a problem with Brett Lee almost expected to give away two or three free-hits.
Although with Bracks out, Hilfy could provide the similar type of dynamic but hopefully he will sort out the fundamental errors.
Who to send over though is the question?
Well cricinfo stated that Doug Bollinger, Stuart Clark or Brett Geeves will be the replacement. I wonder whether the NSP will bother flying over a replacement in the first place, but if they were I'd have to say Doug Bollinger.
The left-arm seam will be useful and I'd be confident seeing him take the new ball with Brett Lee. Then again if they fly him over - or another bowler - would he be match ready for Saturday? Unlikely, and what if the bowling attack against the Windies can deliver the goods against the likes of Pakistan or India?
All in all the injury just came at a terrible time.
Judging by their performance against Pakistan, the Windies shouldn't cause us too many hassles, although I immediatly think of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe when it comes to looking at the 'weaker' teams in big-event contests and come Saturday I hope the boys are well alert and prepared to battle hard, no matter if it's a Windies B or C team.
They should be hungry to fight for victory and why wouldn't they?
It's a squad with a whole stack of guys playing in their first major 50-over tournament with the motivation already there to defend the title of the event.
And as always there is always someone waiting to claim their moment! After all, the legends involved in the last Champions Trophy are now in the next chapter of their lives, so the void is there for plenty of these guys to start a fresh chapter of their own!