England are facing a new selection crisis as they attempt to end their losing run against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford today with a team which may include only four first-choice selections.
Struck down by injuries which have deprived them of key players like Andrew Flintoff (ankle), captain Michael Vaughan (knee), Ashley Giles (hip), Simon Jones (knee), James Anderson (back) and Ian Blackwell (shoulder), England have struggled to compete with the tourists and have already lost the five-match NatWest Series, being heavily beaten in all three games so far.
But their hopes of bouncing back in today's fourth match of the series at Old Trafford have been further hindered by injuries to Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, which could leave them with a shadow team to face the confident Sri Lankans.
Pietersen is still suffering with a badly-bruised left knee while Collingwood has a left thigh strain and, with England's four-Test series against Pakistan starting at Lord's in just over a fortnight, neither player is likely to be risked.
To cover for the two injury doubts, England called in Worcestershire batsman Vikram Solanki into the squad and he may be given a recall alongside Essex batsman Alastair Cook, who is yet to make his debut at this level.
They would take England's tally of players used during this summer's one-day matches to 16. Worcester-shire's Kabir Ali could also be included after being added to the squad to cover for the abdominal strain which ruled out Lancashire seamer Glen Chapple.
The constant disruption has not helped and only Marcus Trescothick, Geraint Jones, stand-in captain Andrew Strauss and Steve Harmison of their first-choice line-up are likely to feature today. But senior batsman Trescothick believes the changes cannot totally be used as an excuse for some increasingly inept performances.
"It's never easy when you're constantly changing the team, but I don't think you can ever rely on everyone being fit all the time," he said. "There's always going to be the odd change, but at the moment it seems to be happening more than usual.
"I don't think we can sit back and accept it that we haven't got half a team, so let's give the game away."
England's major failing has been a shortage of big innings from the top order. Excluding the victory over Ireland in Belfast, no England player has scored a one-day international century since Trescothick hit 104 not out in a victory over Australia at Headingley last summer.
"People may have to think about it a little bit more out in the middle and adapt to the situation, but it's something we have to get better at," added Trescothick.
England will give fitness tests to Pietersen and Collingwood this morning while Kabir may be drafted into an attack which allowed Sri Lanka to cruise to an eight-wicket victory with almost eight overs remaining at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.
Vaughan, meanwhile, looks certain to miss the rest of this summer after deciding to seek further advice about possible surgery on his injured right knee.
He has not featured for England since March and suffered a recurrence of his knee problem during Yorkshire's championship match against Sussex last week.
He is thought to have a hole in his knee joint and surgery would either sideline him for eight to ten weeks if it is decided to clean out the knee, or nine months if the whole joint is repaired.
The 31-year-old is aware that time is running out and the prospects of playing in the home series against Pakistan, or this winter's Ashes series in Australia, are bleak.