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Ponting rested after Sri Lanka loss

Adam Gilchrist will lead Australia against Sri Lanka on Thursday after Ricky Ponting joined their band of rested and rotated players. Brad Hodge, who smashed a century in the domestic Twenty20 final on Saturday, has been added to the squad and Trevor Hohns said it would be reviewed after every match for the rest of the season.

"We feel that Ricky needs and deserves a break," Hohns said. "He has played every match for Australia in all forms of the game for the past ten months, and we think this is the right time for him to allow his body to rest."

Glenn McGrath was rested from yesterday's match against Sri Lanka and Gilchrist was expected to return to the squad today after missing the past two games. Australia lost by 51 runs with an experimental team last night, but they still lead the VB Series by one point.

"It's been a long summer already with lots of cricket," Ponting said, "and halfway through the VB Series is the right time to have a few days at home and freshen up before the final part of the series. These rests have been done before and we have found that when the guys have a chance to have a break, the results indicate that it is good for them."

Gilchrist will captain his ninth one-day match when Australia play at Adelaide on Thursday and Hodge should slot into Ponting's spot at No. 3. Michael Hussey will step into the role as the side's vice-captain.