Ponting on holiday for another ODI
Ricky Ponting's rest will include a second match as Adam Gilchrist was confirmed as captain for the VB Series clash with Sri Lanka at Perth on Sunday. Ponting missed Australia's five-wicket win at Adelaide on Thursday and the result vindicated their controversial rotation policy, which has also included breaks for Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath.
However, Australia's plans for an unchanged side for the WACA were hit by Nathan Bracken's return to Sydney for personal reasons. Bracken was the team's most successful fast bowler at Adelaide with 2 for 45, and his departure from the squad should allow Stuart Clark to play.
"The team had a good win last night and move on to Perth, thus allowing Ponting to complete a two-game break," Hohns said. "The selectors and team management have agreed to allow Bracken to return to Sydney and we're hopeful he'll be available for the one-day international in Melbourne on February 3."
Gilchrist showed he could combine the leadership, opening batting and keeping roles against Sri Lanka as Australia moved five points clear at the top of the series table, with three matches to come. Michael Hussey, who steered the side to their victory target with an unbeaten 25, retains his role as vice-captain, while McGrath and Brett Lee will once again share the new-ball duties. There was, however, no place for Phil Jaques, who hit 94 on debut but lost his opening berth to Simon Katich.
The players have three more matches in the preliminary stage of the tournament, which also double as their last chances to win votes for the Allan Border Medal on February 6. Andrew Symonds is the only one not eligible for either the main prize or the One-Day Player of the Year award after he was suspended on the Ashes tour for being drunk before a match. The voting period for Australian cricket's most cherished individual achievement includes the past 15 Tests and a total of 30 ODIs.
Australian squad Adam Gilchrist (capt, wk), Michael Hussey, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brett Dorey, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds.