Over the past week or so we've been debating who sits where in the test pack. This thread is inspired by a PEWPEW post in the locked version for the also-rans.
A common variable is injuries. Everyone posts full strength line ups, but for many of these sides they are hardly ever likely to happen or bonuses. England when they had Flintoff, India with Zaheer, West Indies with Edwards and Taylor, NZ back when they had Bond. You get the picture.
One of the big possible variables worldwide is Dale Steyn for South Africa. Yes Morkel has improved but removing the best fast bowler in the world leaves a huge hole.
Then there are Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who look nice fully in on paper but if you remove Malinga, YK, MoYo, Asif...remove them and they don't look too good.
I think one of the biggest ruiners would be removing Vettori or Taylor from New Zealand.
I think the biggest reason for Australia's success since well...ever....is their lack of injuries. Warne and McGrath almost always played.
Now they get to sweat a little over Watson, Hilfy, Johnson. But they've had a decent run at times with these players as well and put in solid performances.
Anyway, going on the most likely line ups and taking depth into account, how do you think the sides are affected? I realise there are variable answers, but I think injury is often seen as an inconvenience when comparing teams as opposed to a real bone of contention.
It's a bit like back in the day people (pre-2006) used to say NZ without Bond=mid table and NZ with Bond=up there. NZ hardly ever had Bond, so really they were just mid-table.
Also, why do some countries have more injuries than others?