Perth, Feb 20: Australia have dropped former captain Ricky Ponting from their squad for the next two matches of the tri-series. His spot has been given to vice-captain Shane Watson, who will make his return to action after being sidelined due to an injury.
Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel (NSP), on Monday, announced the squad for the next two games of the tri-series and has axed out-of-form Ponting.
Ponting has had a horrible time in the middle with just 18 runs in five matches. All of his scores have been single digits, 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7.
The 37-year-old right-hander has played 375 ODIs for Australia, scoring 13,704 runs at an average of 42.03. He has scored 30 hundreds and 82 half centuries.
Australia announced a 13-man squad for the next two matches, against Sri Lanka at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Friday 24 February 24 and against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday February 26.
National selector John Inverarity said that it was time to move on from Ponting.
Commenting on the squad, Inverarity said: “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five tri-series matches to date. The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport."
He continued: “Ricky"s record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories."
Inverarity said that Ponting's contribution to goes far beyond his batting statistics and praised him for brilliant fielding.
“Ricky"s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all. He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this. Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke"s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus," he said.
Paceman Ryan Harris also returns to the squad replacing left-arm quick Mitchell Starc.
“Shane Watson also comes back into the squad. He is an all-rounder of proven class and the NSP is keen to have him re-join the squad," Inverarity said.
The squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.