Australia news November 2, 2012

Sore Ponting withdraws from Shield match

  shares 17

Ricky Ponting has been pulled out of Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match in Hobart with hamstring soreness, a week before the first Test against South Africa. However, Cricket Australia insisted that Ponting's withdrawal was precautionary only and that he was expected to be fit for the Gabba Test, which begins on Friday.

Ponting developed hamstring soreness during the game against South Australia, which started on Thursday, and on Friday was replaced in the Tigers line-up by Steven Cazzulino. Cricket Australia's executive general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, said Ponting could have played on and Australia were being extra cautious ahead of the Test series.

"This is a precautionary move to ensure Ricky has the best possible preparation for the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane next week," Howard said. "We've opted to withdraw Ricky from the game. If this wasn't a week out from the first Test then Ricky would continue with the match, but we don't want to take that risk. We expect Ricky to be fit for the first Test against South Africa."

Ponting has been the form batsman in the Sheffield Shield this summer, having scored 355 runs at 118.33, and is expected to slot in at No.4 against South Africa. However, he didn't enjoy that same sort of touch on the first day of the game against South Australia, edging behind for 5 having spent most of the cold day standing in the field.

If the Australians were to be without Ponting for the first Test, it is not clear who would replace him in the line-up, with no backup batsman in the Test squad. Of the other batsmen who have worn the baggy green in the past year, Phillip Hughes has made some encouraging scores this summer but failed against the South Africans for Australia A on Friday, Usman Khawaja is still searching for his best form, and Shaun Marsh has been dropped to club cricket.

One option could be Victoria's Rob Quiney, who usually opens but can bat further down the order. After a couple of productive seasons of domestic cricket, Quiney impressed with 85 against the South Africans in the Australia A game, a match in which Steven Smith also showed his improvement. George Bailey would also come into calculations and is a favourite of John Inverarity's selection panel.

Although Ponting is expected to play at the Gabba, the news of his hamstring niggle continued a worrying day for the Australians after the fast bowler Pat Cummins was ruled out for nearly the full 2012-13 season due to a back stress fracture. There were also disappointingly few runs around the states from Australia's Test batsman, with Shane Watson's 33 against Queensland the best score by any of Australia's Test top seven on Friday.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 3, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY on (November 03 2012, 01:30 AM GMT) - I agree with what you said re: Doolan. Probably a season too early for him to play the Test team, I have been impressed with some of his innings this season. They looked a cut above most of the other batsmen. (although that can be obvious when you're amongst the leading run scorers).

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 3, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    On a different note, finally seeing what kane Richardson can do!

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | November 3, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    The Indian bowling and Dhoni's silly captaincy gave Ponting a new lease of life, or else he was finished and buried.

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | November 3, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    @Aussasinator..you are kidding arnt you, seriously what a joke of a comment.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 3, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    @venkat super 11- not sure of the relevance of your 'fruit' analogy? If it's about the batting order, I was making the point that I hope the next person they try starts at no6 just as Ponting, Boon and many before them did. We have placed too much pressure on debutants recently by throwing them in at no3 .@rickyvoncant. Not in a hurry to get rid of Punter, he is definitely the right man for the job...IF fit. The article poses a question of who hypothetically would replace Punter in he wasn't to play. Names were suggested in the article such as Khawaja, Hughes, Quiney, Smith & Bailey. It also details some reasons why they may not be suitable. Doolan has been performing well over the past two seasons and I merely put his name forward as well, but did qualify that by saying it may be a little premature.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 2, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    Why are some people in such a hurry to get rid of the legend, players like Burns, Khawaja and Doolan are not going anywhere so WHEN he starts failing start calling for he's head, otherwise keep on keeping on Ricky.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | November 2, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY, thankfully you are not in the selection panel. You are comparing apples with oranges.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | November 2, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    I only wish the likes of Mr. Howard to be on India team selection for the betterment of Indian cricket. We, the Indians are unlucky to have such a bold management and we still can only wait after every match for Sachin to leave his spot for some fitting person. But what can we do? After all cricket management also have to survive, cannot ask the so-called God of cricket to leave his space. We are doomed.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | November 2, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    hahahahaha... not surprised. Must have ate and slept well and put on some meat eh Punter ?!!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 2, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Precautionary rest only... That's good. I hope he's fit and in great form for the first test. Great player, and all those saying he needs to step aside need to have a closer look at the stats of these so-called replacements. Is an average of 36 really comparable to one of 55?

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 3, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY on (November 03 2012, 01:30 AM GMT) - I agree with what you said re: Doolan. Probably a season too early for him to play the Test team, I have been impressed with some of his innings this season. They looked a cut above most of the other batsmen. (although that can be obvious when you're amongst the leading run scorers).

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 3, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    On a different note, finally seeing what kane Richardson can do!

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | November 3, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    The Indian bowling and Dhoni's silly captaincy gave Ponting a new lease of life, or else he was finished and buried.

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | November 3, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    @Aussasinator..you are kidding arnt you, seriously what a joke of a comment.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 3, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    @venkat super 11- not sure of the relevance of your 'fruit' analogy? If it's about the batting order, I was making the point that I hope the next person they try starts at no6 just as Ponting, Boon and many before them did. We have placed too much pressure on debutants recently by throwing them in at no3 .@rickyvoncant. Not in a hurry to get rid of Punter, he is definitely the right man for the job...IF fit. The article poses a question of who hypothetically would replace Punter in he wasn't to play. Names were suggested in the article such as Khawaja, Hughes, Quiney, Smith & Bailey. It also details some reasons why they may not be suitable. Doolan has been performing well over the past two seasons and I merely put his name forward as well, but did qualify that by saying it may be a little premature.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 2, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    Why are some people in such a hurry to get rid of the legend, players like Burns, Khawaja and Doolan are not going anywhere so WHEN he starts failing start calling for he's head, otherwise keep on keeping on Ricky.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | November 2, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY, thankfully you are not in the selection panel. You are comparing apples with oranges.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | November 2, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    I only wish the likes of Mr. Howard to be on India team selection for the betterment of Indian cricket. We, the Indians are unlucky to have such a bold management and we still can only wait after every match for Sachin to leave his spot for some fitting person. But what can we do? After all cricket management also have to survive, cannot ask the so-called God of cricket to leave his space. We are doomed.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | November 2, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    hahahahaha... not surprised. Must have ate and slept well and put on some meat eh Punter ?!!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 2, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Precautionary rest only... That's good. I hope he's fit and in great form for the first test. Great player, and all those saying he needs to step aside need to have a closer look at the stats of these so-called replacements. Is an average of 36 really comparable to one of 55?

  • POSTED BY stFleming on | November 2, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    Well this is really a good decision taken by the team management...Hope Ricky Ponting would be 100% fit for the 1st test...I m ready to see Ponting's another hundred...

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | November 2, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Fresh blood and a young batsman with free flowing strokes and faster reflexes should replace Ponting. Hussey can go on for a year or two more, he's a class act, who is bound to save the Aussies with a few centuries down the line. Ponting however is a visible burden who's already pushed Marsh and Khwaja into oblivion with his looming presence in the dressing room.

  • POSTED BY on | November 2, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    An a huge RSA fan, I WANT to see Ricky Ponting playing against us. A true great of the game.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 2, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    It might be a little premature, but if Ponting didn't play I would give the number 6 slot to Doolan & push Pup/Mussey up one slot a piece. Doolan is one of the few out and out batsman who have made runs last year & this. I feel he has earnt his opportunity.

  • POSTED BY PeterLaunnie on | November 2, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    20 wickets for 250 runs says more about the pitch than batsmans form..probably the same across the country, a bunch of green tops making the bowlers look good??

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | November 2, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Hopefully Ponting recovers from this injury as he, along with Hussey, are the two most likely to provide a backbone to the Australian batting line up. We need him injury-free.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | November 2, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    He may be the form batsman of the summer, but as much of a worry as the hamstring is the fact that both Ponting and Cowan were dismissed for single figures in that game. The rest of the Australian batting lineup was dismissed cheaply in the NSW match too.

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  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | November 2, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    He may be the form batsman of the summer, but as much of a worry as the hamstring is the fact that both Ponting and Cowan were dismissed for single figures in that game. The rest of the Australian batting lineup was dismissed cheaply in the NSW match too.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | November 2, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Hopefully Ponting recovers from this injury as he, along with Hussey, are the two most likely to provide a backbone to the Australian batting line up. We need him injury-free.

  • POSTED BY PeterLaunnie on | November 2, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    20 wickets for 250 runs says more about the pitch than batsmans form..probably the same across the country, a bunch of green tops making the bowlers look good??

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 2, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    It might be a little premature, but if Ponting didn't play I would give the number 6 slot to Doolan & push Pup/Mussey up one slot a piece. Doolan is one of the few out and out batsman who have made runs last year & this. I feel he has earnt his opportunity.

  • POSTED BY on | November 2, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    An a huge RSA fan, I WANT to see Ricky Ponting playing against us. A true great of the game.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | November 2, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Fresh blood and a young batsman with free flowing strokes and faster reflexes should replace Ponting. Hussey can go on for a year or two more, he's a class act, who is bound to save the Aussies with a few centuries down the line. Ponting however is a visible burden who's already pushed Marsh and Khwaja into oblivion with his looming presence in the dressing room.

  • POSTED BY stFleming on | November 2, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    Well this is really a good decision taken by the team management...Hope Ricky Ponting would be 100% fit for the 1st test...I m ready to see Ponting's another hundred...

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 2, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Precautionary rest only... That's good. I hope he's fit and in great form for the first test. Great player, and all those saying he needs to step aside need to have a closer look at the stats of these so-called replacements. Is an average of 36 really comparable to one of 55?

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | November 2, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    hahahahaha... not surprised. Must have ate and slept well and put on some meat eh Punter ?!!

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | November 2, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    I only wish the likes of Mr. Howard to be on India team selection for the betterment of Indian cricket. We, the Indians are unlucky to have such a bold management and we still can only wait after every match for Sachin to leave his spot for some fitting person. But what can we do? After all cricket management also have to survive, cannot ask the so-called God of cricket to leave his space. We are doomed.