The Ashes 2010-11: Ponting ruled out of final Test match

The Ashes 2010-11: Ponting ruled out of final Test match

Australian captain Ricky Ponting aggravated his injured finger during the comprehensive fourth Test defeat to England at the MCG and has been ruled out of the final Test in Sydney.

After an x-ray revealed Ponting could require surgery on his fractured finger, the Cricket Australia Board accepted a recommendation from the national selection panel for Michael Clarke to take over the captaincy in Ponting’s absence.
Brad Hadding has been named vice-captain for the fifth Ashes test while Cameron White will be Clarke’s deputy for the one-day and Twenty20 games in the event Ponting does not recover in time.

Despite media pressure aimed at Ponting’s position following Australia’s failure to win back the Ashes, the 36-year-old is adamant he will not be retiring his captaincy or his position in the team.
"I'm not thinking about it at all," he insisted and on news of the x-ray results he added, "I'm devastated to tell you the truth, it was the news I was dreading. During the game I didn't think I'd done too much more to it."

Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja will replace Ponting in the batting line-up for Sydney and left-arm quickie Doug Bollinger is recalled following news that pacemen Ryan Harris could be out for three months with an ankle injury suffered during the fourth Test match.

Khawaja will be making his Australian debut and will be the first Muslim to receive the baggy green cap for his country. The 24-year-old was on standby for Ponting at Melbourne and the graceful left-hander who averages over 50 in first-class games will get his chance at number three in Sydney.

888Sport is offering odds of 11/2 for Khawaja to make an immediate impression to be Australia’s Top Scoring batsman in the first innings.
 

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