Langer given chance to prove fitness - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Langer given chance to prove fitness

By Adam Cooper 24/12/2004 07:40:26 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting is confident the possible loss of in-form opener Justin Langer won't destabilise his side, which is aiming to complete a commanding series win over Pakistan in the second cricket Test at the MCG.

Langer's injured back is on the improve but he is still in doubt and might be given until Boxing Day to prove he has overcome an acute bulging disc in the lower back.

Langer did not train on Friday, but his replacement-in-waiting Simon Katich did and later declared himself ready to open an Australian innings for the first time.

Ponting, who "wouldn't write off" Langer, believed his side had Pakistan covered in all departments regardless of whether the left-hander played.

He also pointed to Australia's excellent record of swinging in replacements when key players were out injured.

"I think the team has dealt with that pretty well in the past," he said.

"They certainly did a good job with my absence in India, we've done it with Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath (out) in the past as well.

"It's disappointing if we couldn't go into this Test match with our strongest side, but as you've seen in the past, the guys who have come in and replaced injured players or players out of form have usually been successful right from the word go."

Australia's 491-run win in the first Test in Perth continued its world dominance and Ponting said the team had few weaknesses - even when injury struck.

"You've just got to look at the guys that aren't playing - Brett Lee, Simon Katich, Stuart MacGill, Brad Hodge - those sort of players can't get a game in this side and I'm sure that they'd be playing in most other teams around the world," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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