Captain Ricky Ponting said Saturday he will take his place in the Australia cricket side for the fourth Ashes test against England after again testing his broken finger in a batting session.

Ponting said Saturday he would move away from his regular catching position at second slip for the test starting Sunday after fracturing his left little finger while attempting a catch during the third test in Perth.

“The boys have been joking about that this morning actually, that I could be fine leg to fine leg through the game,” Ponting said of his new fielding position, likely to be mid-off. “I won’t be at second slip but I’ll find somewhere where I can keep myself in the game.

“The finger’s good. I’m pretty surprised how I’ve been able to train.”

While Ponting has had difficulty at the crease in this series — averaging under 20 — he has averaged 62.42 in 13 tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where officials are expecting a record crowd of 91,000—plus on the first day.

Australia’s Perth win last week levelled the five-match series at 1-1. A win by England in Melbourne would allow Andrew Strauss’ side to retain the urn.

Australia has not named its side, although selectors may stick with the four—man pace attack which was successful in Perth, which would mean uncapped spinner Michael Beer would be 12th man and be released to state duties for Western Australia.

Uncapped batsman Usman Khawaja is on standby for Ponting but it’s unlikely the left—hander will be required.

“We haven’t finalized the 11 yet.” Ponting said. “We’ll wait until the morning to see one, what the weather’s like, and two, if the wicket changes at all.”

England pace bowler James Anderson was expected to train Saturday and test out a side strain that has bothered him since Perth, but was expected to play.

His teammate Jonathan Trott said the nature of the series — a draw, innings win by England in Adelaide and a big win by Australia in Perth, has made for an exciting series.

“Going 1—0 up and being really, really keen to perform, things didn’t go our way (in Perth),” Trott said. “It was a good example of how test cricket can turn around pretty quickly.”


Australia- Ricky Ponting (captain), Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Michael Beer, Usman Khawaja.

England- Andrew Strauss (captain), Alistair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Iain Bell, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Ajmal Shahzad, Steve Finn.

Umpires- Aleem Dar, Pakistan, and Tony Hill, New Zealand.

TV umpire- Marais Erasmus, South Africa. Match referee- Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.

Keywords: golden year of the star, sports news, daily news, today sports news, hot news