Doherty out of final ODI with back pain
Australia's run of injuries has continued with Xavier Doherty ruled out of the final ODI against England in Perth due to a back problem. The left-arm spinner Doherty was called in to the squad after Nathan Hauritz suffered a serious shoulder injury and was viewed as the likely World Cup replacement should Hauritz fail to regain his fitness for that trip.
However, Doherty played only two games before back soreness ruled him out of the Brisbane match, and Steven Smith has taken the lead spin role with some success. Australia's selectors have not decided whether to replace Doherty for Sunday's series finale at the WACA, where the fast men are likely to play more of a role.
"Xavier Doherty developed some back pain during the one-day game in Adelaide on Australia Day and did not train in Brisbane which allowed his symptoms to improve," the physio Alex Kountouris said. "He attempted some light training yesterday in Sydney and his back was again painful. As such he is unavailable for the remaining two games of this series. His return to cricket will be determined by monitoring his recovery over the next week."
Australia have had a growing injury list during the one-day series, with Ricky Ponting (finger), Michael Hussey (hamstring), Shaun Marsh (hamstring), and Hauritz (shoulder) all unavailable. Hussey and Hauritz are waiting on their World Cup hopes, while Ponting is expected to lead Australia in their title defence, after he batted in the nets at the SCG over the past two days.
"Ricky Ponting had his first training session yesterday since having finger surgery after the Melbourne Test match," Kountouris said. "As part of his recovery this was a restricted session and he is expected to increase his training intensity in the lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup. He has had no adverse effect from yesterday's session and has trained again today during Australia's batting innings."