With England’s two best hopes of Ashes success all but certain absentees, further withdrawals could turn a highly-anticipated summer into a non-competitive farce.
Was Fawad Alam ready for his return to Test cricket this week in England? It seems not.
Having played his last Test match in 2009, it has been 11 years of toil in first-class cricket for the Pakistani batsman.
And in all fairness, first-class cricket in Pakistan is perhaps the worst in Asia, or maybe on par with that of Bangladesh.
Even Sri Lankan first-class cricket seems to have produced more consistent Test match players in Dimuth Karunaratne, Odisha Fernando and Kusal Mendis, in recent years.
A side-on stance that has only got worse with time was perhaps the major fault behind his dismissal in the first innings.
You can literally see why Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former chief selector, ignored Alam, despite his high scoring charts.
Nonetheless, Alam was brought back to the Test team following three years of public outrage for the ignored cricketer.
The situation was such, following the hapless Australia tour, that Misbah-ul-Haq had no other alternative but to bring in Alam to temper the angst in the Pakistani cricketing fraternity.
Two series later, when Alam finally got his chance, he proved quite incapable of handing the English seaming conditions.
He faced four balls then got out out, trapped LBW by England seamer Chris Woakes.
It was rather expected from a man who has bullied his way to 12,000 first-class runs on turning, flat, subcontinent decks.
Another English failure for a subcontinent cricketer!
He has another innings to redeem himself in Southampton.
But at 34, his time in international cricket is surely over.