Inzamam-ul-Haq mulled over a state of affairs turbulent enough to rattle even the most implacable souls, and admitted that Pakistan are in considerable bother just days before the side departs for the Caribbean.
At a press briefing at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore during Pakistan's training camp, Inzamam told reporters of his worries over the make-up of the final 15-man squad. "We are yet to give a final shape to our squad for the World Cup and that makes it evident that we are facing a very difficult situation."
At the root of the strife lie Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar, who are both in the squad but still uncertain of participating due to concerns over their injuries and a dope test they have yet to undergo.
"It is very important for us that Shoaib and Asif play for us in the World Cup because they are our main wicket-taking bowlers. They add balance to our line-up," Inzamam recognised. "We will be in the race for the title if all our players are fit and available for the World Cup," he added.
Inzamam added that Pakistan's fielding would also have to tighten up were they to be considered as one of the favourites in what he says is the most open World Cup. "With better fielding, a team can save 30 to 40 runs and that makes a big difference in most matches.
"If we are to have any real chance of doing well in the tournament, we have to show tremendous improvement in both our fitness and fielding."