Ponting in doubt for Sydney ODI

Australian captain Ricky Ponting looks set to miss today’s one-day match against England in Sydney due to a hip injury.

Ponting injured his hip during training yesterday, according to physiotherapist Alex Kountouris. The Australian selectors are unlikely to risk the skipper with Australia’s place in one-day finals already secure.

“Ricky suffered a slight strain in the hip region during training this afternoon and will be reviewed tomorrow morning before play where a final decision will be made on his availability,” Kountouris said.

Australian selector Merv Hughes confirmed Ponting would almost certainly sit out the match as every precaution would be taken to avert further injuries to the captain.

“The physio thinks he’s a 40 per cent chance but the news that we got was that if he plays, there’s a fair chance he could do more damage to the injury and we certainly don’t want to do that,” he said.

Hughes also indicated that should Ponting not play, Brad Hodge would be the one to replace him in the side, getting another chance to represent his country after failing to score during his one and only match of the series in Brisbane.

“Brad has been in outstanding form this season in domestic cricket and was the replacement for Ricky when he was rested for the Brisbane game. His form dictates that he again be selected should Ricky be ruled unfit,” Hughes said.

“So we’re probably going to be a little bit cautious with our view to it and Hodgey may have the opportunity. I’d say if Hodgey doesn’t play, Ricky Ponting’s made a miraculous recovery overnight.”

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