Ponting cut from ODI squad
The end appears to be nigh for Ricky Ponting’s one-day international career after Australia dropped the former World Cup-winning captain for their next two Commonwealth Bank Series games with Sri Lanka and India respectively.
National selector John Inverarity cited Ponting’s dismal form in the series - he has made just 18 runs in five innings - as the reason for his axing, and went on to suggest that the 37-year-old’s time as a limited-overs international could be over.
That could yet be confirmed as early as tomorrow, when Ponting is expected to speak publicly about his future.
“Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series,” Inverarity said in a statement.
“The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.
“Ricky’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.
“Ricky’s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing room is acknowledged by all.
“He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this.”
Ponting has played in 375 ODIs, scoring 13,704 runs at an average of 42. He has hit 82 half-centuries and 30 hundreds, as well as taking 160 catches.
“Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke’s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus,” Inverarity concluded.
Clarke returns to the squad following a hamstring injury, while fast bowler Ryan Harris replaces Mitchell Starc. Shane Watson is also back after injury.
Inverarity went on to add that Matthew Wade was now the side’s preferred wicketkeeper, and said that the 24-year-old would be touring the West Indies alongside out-of-form Test gloveman Brad Haddin.
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.