Ponting To Lead Australia As Lee, Hilfenhaus, Hussey Recalled
Ricky Ponting is to captain Australia during the Commonwealth Bank Series One-Day International against Sri Lanka on Friday (17th February).
He will reprise the role of skipper after Michael Clarke was ruled out through a hamstring injury although he is expected to feature in Sunday's game against India.
David Warner will act as vice-captain for both matches and the National Selection Panel (NSP) has 'refreshed' the squad, omitting Ryan Harris and recalling Ben HIlfenhaus, Michael Hussey and Brett Lee.
Lee is making a swift recovery from the toe fracture he suffered during the second Twenty20 International and will undergo fitness tests prior to the game in Sydney.
"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," National Selector John Inverarity said.
"The National Selection Panel (NSP) has omitted Ryan Harris for this reason and for the fact that he is carrying some minor niggles.
"The NSP has refreshed the squad with the inclusion of Brett Lee and Ben Hilfenhaus. Brett is making a good recovery from his toe injury and will be given rigorous fitness tests before Friday’s ODI fixture. As expected Michael Hussey returns to the squad."
Ponting was always the likely candidate to be handed the captaincy once again, particularly in the absence of Shane Watson through injury and Brad Haddin, who has been replaced in the squad by Matthew Wade.
"After careful consideration the NSP has asked Ricky Ponting if he would captain the Australian ODI team in Michael Clarke’s absence," Inverarity added.
"David Warner is a young player making his way. He 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. 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."
Watson's anticipated return from injury takes another step up with a potential appearance in the first-class Bupa Shield for New South Wales and the NSP will be monitoring him closely.
"Shane played a Grade cricket game in Sydney on Saturday. He batted and bowled in that game without any issue and will be available for consideration for selection for a Bupa Shield game in Perth later this week as he continues his return from injury," physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.
Australia ODI squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Ricky Ponting (captain v Sri Lanka), David Warner (vice-captain), Daniel 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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