Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day December 19, 2010

Ponting fracture confirmed by X-rays


Australia's charge towards a series-levelling victory has been upset by Ricky Ponting suffering a broken finger that will leave him fighting for fitness for the remainder of the campaign. The team physio, Alex Kountouris, said that X-rays had confirmed a small fracture of Ponting's left little finger.

Michael Clarke led the team out on the fourth morning with Ponting off the field protecting the injury and doing all he can to be ready for Boxing Day. Ponting was sent to hospital for a scan after rebounding the edge of Jonathan Trott from first slip to the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin late on the third day.

After joining his team-mates in the huddle, he left the field for treatment. Peter Siddle said Ponting "seemed alright", but the extent of the injury was not revealed until a Cricket Australia statement before play on the fourth day.

The WACA has become a horrible ground for Ponting, who was forced to retire hurt last year after being struck on the elbow by West Indies' Kemar Roach. His poor run in this series continued here with scores of 12 and 1, taking his total to 83 in six innings.

Despite the pain in his hand, Ponting will be buoyed by the amazing response of his team in Perth after being out-played in the opening two Ashes fixtures. Australia need only five wickets over the next two days to level the series at 1-1 with two Tests remaining.

Ponting last missed a Test in 2004-05 when a broken finger kept him out of the first three games of the final-frontier victory in India. Adam Gilchrist was in charge of that campaign, handing over to Ponting for the final match, which Australia lost in Mumbai. Clarke, the vice-captain, will step in if Ponting can't recover for the Boxing Day Test, although Ponting is determined to play through the pain in his push to regain the Ashes.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hytool on December 21, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    clarke is cold........hussey is 35.208.... Watto is watto shd b skipper...n he willl do itt

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Bad news for Australia and even worser news if Ponting plays on OR Clarke takes over captaincy for awhile.

    If Punter (Ponting) was smart, he'd miss out the next test or two and try and rest his finger up as much as possible. If he goes in injured, theres more chance of him injuring himself even more and I do believe we have enough in our State cricket that could replace Punter for a couple of tests, even probably do a much better job at batting, as Punter has struggled.

    As for Clarke, I hope to God, he doesn't take over, Clarke is absolutely crap and is also struggling with injury (thus for his crapness), he also should be taken out to rest.

    Mike Hussey should take captaincy or Shane Watson but not Clarke.

  • Hector on December 19, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    I don't believe some cricket followers believe Clarke should captain Australia. Is there anyone from WA, SA, Vic, Qld, Tas, Canberra, or NT that think Clarke has demonstrated his right to Captain the Australian team?? I remember his performance at the start of the season......pathetic and not proactive IN ANY WAY!!!! If no noise is made, that mega intellect Hilditch who would never have played test cricket had he not played for NSW will pick his little pin up glamour boy to captain Australia. If he does....Here England, have the ashes back on a gold platter.....and at thev same time alienate cricket followers across Australia.

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    i never thought ponting would have been one of those cricketers to go out like this...he needs to step down after the ashes even if austrailia do win he should step down and finish or a bit of a high because his good days hive long gone

  • Sahil on December 19, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    No Clarke please. Give it to Hussey. Clarke just doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who can lead in Pontng's absence.

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    It's already working!! Aus won a Test match!! Now only the most die hard Aussie fans might have thought of this possibility lol

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    i think hussey should be given a chance 2 lead..

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Good luck Ricky! He is a champion and will surely bounce back from the recent setbacks!

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    now aus captain wil be feeling free and also that today was his b`day.. many more happy returns of the day captain..

  • Abhishek on December 19, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Truly this is blessing in disguise for aussies ... ponting's injury can resolve the inconsistent number 3 problem, there should not be any place for a non-playing captain , thats what ponting has become these days... first select the best 11 and then select the captain out of those 11.

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