The Australian Selectors have dropped Ricky Ponting from the squad they announced for the next two ODIs of the Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series! The 37-year-old Ponting, who led the hosts in the last two matches of the CB Series in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke was axed following a string of poor scores in the ongoing triangular tournament. The Australian team has been otherwise boosted with the return of all-rounder Shane Watson who makes a comeback from injury.
The 13-man squad announced by the National Selectors are for the two matches against Sri Lanka at Hobart on the 24th and against India at Sydney on the 26th. It could be a swap between Watson and Ponting in the playing XI for the hosts. Watson is expected to open the batting along with David Warner while Wicket Keeper Matthew Wade is likely to slip down the order.
The Chairman of the Australian National Selection Committee - John Inverarity has commented on Ponting’s exclusion as : “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series.
The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.
“Ricky’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.
“Ricky’s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all. He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this.
“Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke’s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus”.
Meanwhile, the Selectors have re-included fast bowler Ryan Harris with left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc given a break.
Here is the Australian Squad for the CB Series Matches on the 24th and 26th : Michael Clarke (Captain), Shane Watson (Vice-Captain), Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade (Wicket Keeper) and David Warner