Hilfenhaus replaces Tait for tour to India

Ponting out of ICC World Twenty20

Cricinfo staff

September 19, 2007

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Ricky Ponting suffered a hamstring strain during his innings against Pakistan on Tuesday © AFP
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Ricky Ponting will miss the remainder of the ICC World Twenty20 after suffering a hamstring strain while batting against Pakistan on Tuesday. The injury also put Ponting in doubt for the upcoming seven-match ODI series against India.

"Over the next three to five days we will have a much better indication of where it's heading, so we will know whether he will have to go home or be able to go to India," Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist, said. "Hopefully, he will take some part in the series in India. The best case scenario is a couple of weeks. The worst case scenario is four weeks."

Even a two-week lay-off would force Ponting out of the first ODI in India, which is on September 29. Ponting strained his hamstring while running between the wickets against Pakistan and completed his innings with the help of a runner.

"He just took off for a run and felt it a bit," Kountoris said. "He was stretching his left leg because he was not sure if there was a problem. I don't think he has had a hamstring strain before."

Ponting joined the team two days ahead of the tournament after staying home to look after his ill wife and he missed Australia's practice games. However, Kountouris dismissed suggestions that Ponting was under-prepared. "He's been here for a week now so really I could not say with confidence that it had anything to do with it [Ponting arriving late]. It's just coincidence."

Shaun Tait has also been ruled out of the India tour as his recovery from elbow surgery in June has taken longer than expected. Ben Hilfenhaus, who replaced Tait for the ICC World Twenty20, will also take his spot in the 14-man squad for the ODI series.

"Shaun is making significant progress and has commenced bowling," Kountouris said. "However, it has been decided that he will miss the tour to optimise his rehabilitation by taking part in a series of games in South Australia."

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said Australia's focus was to have Tait available for the first Test of the summer, against Sri Lanka starting at Brisbane on November 8. "He is expected to make a complete recovery in the next few weeks and commence preparation for what is going to be a very exciting Australian domestic summer," Hilditch said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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