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Ponting, Hayden recovering fast for India tour

cricket Updated: Sep 10, 2008 19:32 IST
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Australian think-tank heaved a sigh of relief with batting mainstays Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden recovering fast from injuries to reach India next month to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The duo will have to play crucial roles if Australia are to beat India at their backyard, considered one of the toughest cricket assignments. With Ponting recovering fast from a wrist surgery and Hayden overcoming an achilles problem, coach Tim Nielsen said there was nothing to worry about the duo.

"Ricky saw (physio) Alex (Kountouris) in Sydney. The feedback was pretty solid, all good. He has just started batting again as well," Nielsen was quoted as saying by 'Herald Sun'.

On Hayden, he said, "Everything has been progressing exactly as we liked with Haydos."

Hayden has not played since last summer and both he and Ponting missed the ODI series against Bangladesh in Darwin.

With embattled all-rounder Andrew Symonds sent home due to what is perceived as his sagging commitment to the team likely to miss the India tour, the team management is worried that it might weaken Australia's batting strength.

Though Symonds has got in touch with sports psychologist Phil Jauncey to help him come out of the crisis, the team management is not taking chance and seemed to have found a logical replacement in Shane Watson.

"Until we have finalised everything with Roy (Symonds) and made those decisions, we're probably not really willing to talk about it, to be honest," Nielsen said.