Ponting named skipper for Friday's clash

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Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 12:24 [IST]
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Ponting to lead Australia in Lanka ODI

Sydney, Feb 14: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is all set to lead the team again as skipper Michael Clarke is ruled out of the clash against Sri Lanka in the ODI tri-series due to an injury, while injured pacer Brett Lee is also expected to return to the squad.

Ricky Ponting, stepped down as captain last year, has been named as skipper of the Australian team for the tri-series featuring India, Sri Lanka and Australia.

Michael Clarke, is not playing Friday's match, due to a hamstring strain he picked during the match against Sunday while his deputy, Brad Haddin also not included in the squad, means David Warner, will be Ponting's deputy for the clash against Sri Lanka on Friday.

"After careful consideration the NSP has asked Ricky Ponting if he would captain the Australian ODI team in Michael Clarke's absence. David Warner displays considerable leadership potential, but the NSP is of the view that he should not, at this moment, have the added responsibility of captaincy thrust on him," Cricket Australia said in a statement.

"David has been gaining valuable experience under Michael Clarke's captaincy and now he will have the opportunity to grow his leadership skills further as vice-captain to Ricky Ponting.

"In making this decision the NSP reminded itself of the fact that Ricky Ponting led the winning Australian ICC Cricket World Cup teams in 2003 and 2007. The NSP appreciates the fact that Ricky is prepared to accept this responsibility in the wider interests of the team," it added.

Australia is expected to play two matches against Sri Lanka at Sydney and India at Gabba on Friday and Sunday respectively.

"Michael Clarke will not be considered for the ODI in Sydney this Friday due to a low-grade hamstring strain. The medical staff are hopeful that Michael will be fit to play in Brisbane on Sunday. Hence he has been included in the squad," NSP chairman John Inverarity said ahead of announcing the team for the rest of the series.

"Some players are showing signs of fatigue after a demanding summer in which the Australian team has played with great intensity and purpose and performed with distinction. The National Selection Panel (NSP) has omitted Ryan Harris for this reason and for the fact that he is carrying some minor niggles," he added.

While news from Cricket Australia confirm that Lee, who suffered a broken toe in a Twenty20 match against India earlier this month and Ben Hilfenhaus are back in the squad.

"Brett is making a good recovery from his toe injury and will be given rigorous fitness tests before Friday's ODI fixture," Inverarity said.

With Clarke ruled out of the next tie against Sri Lanka, as expected Michael Hussey has returned to the squad. Australia having won the ODI against SL, would look forward to continue their good run against Sri Lanka again as they meet on Friday at Sydney.


Australia:Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, David Warner, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Mitchell Marsh, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade.


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