Michael Hussey will come as a boon for Australia in the World Cup © Getty Images
Michael Hussey will come as a boon for Australia in the World Cup © Getty Images

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The replacements have been announced. Australia’s Mike Hussey and England’s Eoin Morgan, both players who should have been in their squads by popular choice, have been asked to join their respective teams. Both of them are coming back from injuries and it remains to be seen how this can affect the fortunes of their teams in the World Cup.

 

Kevin Pietersen is the latest casualty and is out of the World Cup. He is now “switched” with Morgan. While it’s a welcome addition, England would have preferred it had not been at the cost of Pietersen. Both Morgan and Pietersen have one thing in common: they are genuine match winners. While Pietersen, on his day, can turn a match on its head, Morgan reminds us of Michael Bevan, “The Finisher” – a batsman who can close the game.

 

At the end of the day, Pietersen out of the World Cup, gives captain Andrew Strauss more problems than solutions. Does he get Jonathan Trott to open the innings with him now?  Pietersen seemed to be enjoying his stint at the top of the batting order. In addition, he could also turn his arm over for a few quick overs. With Morgan just returning from injury, it could be a while before he gets used to the conditions and plays his natural game. This scenario could seriously hamper England’s quarter-final hopes, with them squaring off against the West Indies and Bangladesh next.

 

Mike Hussey is another popular choice who gets a shot at the World Cup. His inclusion is welcome news for Ricky Ponting, since it strengthens the fragile Aussie middle order. Moreover, Hussey’s stint in the IPL will ensure that the Australians become even more of a force to reckon with in this World Cup.  Shaun Tait, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson firing on all cylinders means that Doug Bollinger won’t be missed, and Hussey coming in as a replacement for a fast bowler is a boon that will be welcomed.

 

Finally, Devendra Bishoo is Dwayne Bravo’s replacement. This is one injury the West Indies team could have done without. The Windies are a weaker side without Dwayne Bravo. They have two high-profile matches up next, against England and India. Though they seem to be doing well even without Dwayne Bravo, it would be interesting to see how they fare against two of the stronger sides in the tournament.

 

In summary, the Aussies seem to have the best luck of the “replacements” situation. England on the other hand might feel unlucky to lose Pietersen, and for now it appears to be a loss, unless Morgan can get going.  The worst affected are the Windies. They seem to have traded a jet plane for a bullock cart.

 

Just as in the movie “The Replacements”, where the American football players use their second chances to go for glory, it remains to be seen what impact these “Replacements” will have on the greatest stage for a cricketer…

 

Stay tuned…

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with).