Further bad news for the Australian Cricket Team today, as despite reaching their target to beat New Zealand very comfortably, they also learned that left-arm seamer Doug Bollinger will play no part in the World Cup due to an ankle injury.
Having already lost No. 1–spinner-for-now Nathan Hauritz and key batsman Michael Hussey before the tournament kicked off, Bollinger’s absence will mean that there is no scope for error among the Australian front-line attack, as cover has become rather thin.
Bollinger’s ODI stats make decent reading, with 50 wickets at 24.16 and a decent economy rate, so Australia will have to hope that no ills befall current pace trio Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson if they hope to retain the trophy that they won in 1987, 2003 and 2007.
Possible replacements Ryan Harris and Clint McKay are also unavailable through injury, and the backup seam department now consists of John Hastings, whose yet-to-develop ODI record does not impart fear into batsmen.
Peter Siddle has been touted as the most likely replacement, after his workhorse efforts during the Ashes series, but strengthening the batting by bringing in a now-fit Michael Hussey could also be considered an option.
The Australians haven’t show any signs yet that their diminished resources have weakened their resolve, judging by the professional performances in victory over Zimbabwe and the Kiwis, but any further injury setbacks might jeopardise their title hopes.