Ponting expects bowler to replace Bollinger

Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 18:38 PM IST

Colombo: Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects a bowler to replace injured Doug Bollinger in the World Cup squad but he also refused to rule out a call up for middle-order batsman Michael Hussey.

"There`s probably going to be a chance Mike might come. It will be interesting to see how he gets through that (four-day Perth) game," Ponting said ahead of Australia`s crucial World Cup game against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

"I probably still expect that it`s more likely to be a bowler than a batter. But it`s nice to know we`ve got a couple of options in the wings at home waiting to join the squad," he said.

The 35-year-old Hussey was controversially overlooked for selection for the six-week tournament in the sub-continent because of a hamstring injury.

But the left-handed batsman returned to action in a Sheffield Shield game for Western Australia against Queensland in Perth.

Ponting said the hot and humid weather in the sub-continent could get the players injured and he would like to see the replacement player join the squad early next week for training in Bangalore.

Selectors have delayed naming the replacement after Bollinger was ruled out due to an ankle injury.

"The last thing you want to do is be caught short going into the game in a World Cup. I don`t think we can afford to wait long. In this part of the world you can have a couple of guys go down overnight and the last thing you want to do is being caught short going in to any game in a World Cup," he said.

"I would be surprised if that announcement is not made straight after Saturday`s game against Sri Lanka."

PTI