Facing an early exit from the Twenty20 cricket world championships, Australia have suffered a massive blow with skipper Ricky Ponting being ruled out of the event due to a hamstring injury.
Ponting picked up a left hamstring strain during Australia's six-wicket defeat to Pakistan on Tuesday and would not be able to play in rest of the tournament, The Australian reported on Wednesday.
Ponting's deputy Adam Gilchrist said the skipper's fitness would be assessed in the next couple of days, which makes him unavailable for Thursday's do-or-die match against Sri Lanka.
Gilchrist, meanwhile, rubbished criticism that the ODI world champions were not taking Twenty20 seriously.
"Are you taking this tournament seriously? We are. I'm not sure what the perception is, but we are," he said after on Tuesday's defeat.
The wicketkeeper-batsman said he was hoping for a better performance in their final Super Eight match, which could be their last of the tournament if they lose.
"We will walk away from this and work out where we went wrong, and hopefully get it right again going back down to Cape Town," he said.