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Inured Ponting cleared to tour India this month

Injured Australia captain might not be able to play all seven One-day Internationals starting Sep 29.

cricket Updated: Sep 21, 2007 00:27 IST

Injured Australia captain Ricky Ponting was on Thursday cleared to tour India, though he might not be able to play all seven One-day Internationals starting Sep 29.

Cricket Australia (CA) said that Ponting, who had a hamstring strain during the defeat to Pakistan in a Twenty20 World Championship match in Johannesburg on Tuesday, would stay back in South Africa despite being ruled out of the remaining part of the competition.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said from South Africa that Ponting would continue his rehabilitation in South Africa before departing with the rest of the Australian squad next week.

"Ponting is making excellent progress following his hamstring strain in the game against Pakistan on Tuesday. Ricky will be coming on the tour of India and will resume playing as soon as he is medically cleared," he said.

"Brad Haddin has been added to the touring squad and will take part in the Indian tour until such time as Ricky recovers. Although Ricky's injury is very disappointing it gives us an opportunity to recognise the outstanding performances of Haddin domestically and in his limited opportunities for Australia in the past 12 months."

Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, also with the team in South Africa, said Ponting was making good progress.

"Ponting is making good progress in the early stages of his injury and is on track to take some part in the tour of India," he said.

Kountouris also said all-rounder Shane Watson would be assessed over the next 48 hours after leaving the field during Thursday's game against Sri Lanka with hamstring soreness.

"Shane felt some soreness in the left hamstring during today's game and we will continue to assess this over the next 48 hours before any decision is made regarding his availability."

The Australian team is scheduled to depart South Africa for India Sep 25 to compete in a seven-match ODI series and one Twenty20 game.

The first match is scheduled for Sep 29 at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.