Ponting fails to prove fitness - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting fails to prove fitness

By Greg Buckle 03/03/2006 05:59:21 AM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds have been ruled out of Saturday's second one-day international against South Africa in Cape Town.

Ponting (stomach muscle strain) trained well at Newlands Stadium today after earlier telling reporters he was confident of playing despite suffering the injury last Saturday.

Symonds (hip flexor strain) also batted but Australian team physio Errol Alcott said the pair would be reassessed for Sunday's third match in Port Elizabeth.

"Although Ricky was unhampered by his injury in batting and fielding sessions today, we consider it more prudent to rest him tomorrow considering the length of time since the injury," Alcott said.

"We will continue further treatment and cricket activity, and will review his availability for Sunday's game in due course."

Ponting had said before training today: "I would hope that I would be right for Sunday if I miss Friday.

"I'm doing everything I can to make sure that I'm out there on Friday, he said.

"It feels pretty good at the moment.

Alcott said he was happy with the progress of Symonds, who broke down in a sprint session on February 22.

Symonds, Ponting and paceman Stuart Clark (bruised rib) all missed last week's opening match at Centurion which the home side won by six wickets.

Clark is likely to return for young left-armer Mitchell Johnson and much interest also surrounds the possible selection of NSW opener Phil Jaques, who has been brought over this week as cover for Ponting.

However, coach John Buchanan has indicated Damien Martyn is likely to remain at No.3 with Ponting out, saying that Jaques is seen primarily as an opener.

Selector Andrew Hilditch, who arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday, is unlikely to tamper with the opening pairing of stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich.

Australia's team will not be announced until shortly before the toss.

Veteran South African paceman Shaun Pollock said the Proteas are buoyed by playing at home after touring India and Australia.

"It's big for us. It's only a five-match series so if you can manage to get 2-0 up it puts a lot of pressure on a touring team especially if there are injuries," he said.

The second game of the five-match series is a day-nighter starting at 2pm (11pm AEDT), with ground officials confident a Cape Town power shortage will not affect the match.

The third game is on Sunday at Port Elizabeth.

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