VB Series, 2003-04 January 29, 2004

Bevan out of VB Series finals

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Australia's injury worries have intensified, with the news that Michael Bevan has fractured a rib and will miss the remainder of the VB Series, including the best-of-three finals against India which start on February 6.

Bevan sustained the injury in the nets earlier this week, although it did not prevent him from playing against Zimbabwe at the MCG on Thursday, where he even top-scored with a run-a-ball 56. But the pain intensified during the course of his innings, and he is now likely to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

"I just got hit under the ribs," explained Bevan. "I felt it became a little bit worse halfway through my innings on Thursday." With Australia due to depart for Sri Lanka for a five-match one-day series straight after the VB Series finals, Bevan faces a race for fitness.

Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting will be rested for Australia's final group game against India, so that he is ready for the finals. The captaincy will pass to Adam Gilchrist, who has been rested for the past two matches.