Ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, all teams have announced their 15-member squads but there could be changes made due to injuries. Pakistan, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are a few teams that have to make key decisions before the deadline for submitting teams.
Teams are allowed to make squad changes without restrictions until September 28. However, any alterations after it must be approved by the ICC Technical Committee.
Here we take a look at one key selection decision these six 2023 World Cup teams have to make before the deadline:
England – Jason Roy or Harry Brook
England’s opening batter Jason Roy was excluded from England’s World Cup squad due to a series of back spasms. They have now included Harry Brook as his replacement.
Roy was not able to take part in any of the four matches of the series against New Zealand. Harry Brook, for all his exploits in Test and T20 cricket, was not too convincing in the ODI series but the selectors have included him for the upcoming World Cup.
Australia: Travis Head or Marnus Labuschagne
Australia too were dealt a huge blow when Travis Head was hit on his hand during the ODI series against South Africa. His hand injury will undergo evaluation in Australia next week, but the prospects of him taking part in the World Cup appear quite slim.
Although Australia have added Matt Short to the squad for the three ODIs against India, Marnus Labuschagne, after his exploits in the ODI series, could be the one replacing Travis Head in the final squad.
South Africa – Sisanda Magala/Anrich Nortje or Andile Phehlukwayo
Although South Africa turned the series around against Australia in some style, they have a few concerns leading into the World Cup.
Sisanda Magala is rather uncertain as he grapples with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the final against Australia.
Additionally, Anrich Nortje’s ongoing back issues raise doubts about his availability. This situation could see Andile Phehlukwayo receiving a potential call-up.
Sri Lanka – Maheesh Theekshana
For Sri Lanka, Maheesh Theekshana suffered a hamstring injury while fielding against Pakistan. He was ruled out of the Asia Cup final against India and it will be interesting to see if he is able to regain fitness for the World Cup.
The head of the SLC medical committee assures that he will undoubtedly be ‘fit and prepared’ for the marquee event commencing next month.
India – Axar Patel or Washington Sundar/R Ashwin
India selected spin all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel for the World Cup. However, Axar got injured just before the Asia Cup final which had India rope in Washington Sundar as the off-spinning all-rounder.
After India’s victory in the Asia Cup final, Rohit Sharma dropped a surprise statement where he said that he was in talks with R Ashwin as well and that, both he and Sundar were in the line to replace Axar if need be.
New Zealand: Tim Southee, Daryl Mitchell
Tim Southee suffered a dislocated and fractured bone in his right thumb while attempting a catch in the final ODI against England. A New Zealand spokesperson mentioned that a timeline for his recovery will be determined after further assessment.
In the same match, Daryl Mitchell too dislocated his ring finger while taking a low catch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow. It will be interesting to see what calls the selectors make for the World Cup.