It has been confirmed that Yuvraj will miss this edition of the Champions Trophy after a freak injury during fielding practice yesterday. Australia who are currently 2nd in the ICC ODI ranking will miss their top bowler, Nathen Bracken due to a chronic knee injury. These two players are genuine match winners for their respective teams and their absence could mean a lot to these teams, not to forget the spectators who will miss some explosive stuff with the bat and ball. The other Indian player who could miss out on the first match or couple of them is Gambhir, who seems to have had a groin injury. Incase you people follow greatbong, he has a nice tweet, which says

“Gambhir has “groin” injury. Yuvi breaks ungli. Now we know what’s going on.”

Thanks to my friend Rohit for that bit 🙂

I believe India will miss Yuvraj more than Australia will miss Bracken because Australia play more as a team than India. In India’s case it has always been a Sachin or a Sehwag or a Dravid (in rare cases, I am talking about ODIs)  or a Yuvraj who has influenced the team. ODI cricket to me is a batsman’s game as it is not mandatory to bowl the team out like in a test match, where it ain’t over till you bowl out all the 20 wickets of the opposition. So if you ask me Bhajji won us the 2001 Eden Gardens test match more than Laxman and Dravid. Anways,that’s a discussion point for a later date.

Lets assume that Gambhir would also miss out on the first match against Pakistan on Saturday. So India can look at a opening pair of Sachin and Dinesh Karthik/Rahul Dravid/Virat Kohli. I think Dhoni will go with Dinesh Karthik, who opened with Dravid in the warm-up match, which they lost to New Zealand. So the team should probably look like this

Sachin, Karthik, Dravid, Dhoni, Raina, Kohli,Y Pathan, Bhajji, Nehra, Ishant, RP Singh

We do not have a choice but to play 7 batsmen in this match as Pakistan bowling is known to perform at their best against Indian batting, wherever you are playing them. And to be honest the way some of the Paki batsmen got out last night against the Windies, I think our bowlers should be able to do the damage on Saturday. Yusuf Pathan and Raina should take the responsibility of the fifth bowlers 10 overs. And lets hope that Gambhir is back for the next match atleast.