Ricky Ponting will return to Australia's squad for the third One Day International against New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday (February 8th) after he cut short a planned period of rest.
The Australian captain was due to miss both the match at Melbourne, which Australia lost by six wickets, and the Sydney match but with his side 2-0 down in the five-match series, he made an appeal to Cricket Australia (CA) to be allowed to come back early.
"Ricky has today made a strong appeal to be allowed to play given that this is a "decider" game," National Selection Panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said.
"Given the circumstance, we have made an on balance decision to support his request and we will continue to monitor his workload closely.
"It should be noted that selectors were pleased with Michael Clarke's leadership and batting form in Melbourne, where he was man-of-the-match, but this decision will bolster our batting. We also understand Ricky's desire to lead from the front."
Clarke stroked 98, opening the innings as Australia reached 225 for five before New Zealand closed out victory in the penultimate over of their reply to hand Clarke a first defeat in charge of the national side.
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