Ponting gets the axe, Watson back in the ODI squad

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Brisbane: Ricky Ponting’s poor form with the bat has led the selectors dropping the maverick batsman from the next two matches of the Commonwealth bank series on Monday.

Unlike his stupendous performance in the Test series against India earlier this year, the Tasmanian has looked a pale shadow of himself as was evident from his struggle against India in Brisbane ODI on Sunday.

He has scored only 18 runs from the five innings at a poor average of 3.6.

John Inverarity, chairman of selection committee clearly stated the lack of performance as the sole reason for the decision to drop the former captain from the squad paving the way for the inclusion of young blood.

‘Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series,’’ chairman of selectors John Inverarity said in a statement on Monday.

While Inverarity accepted the fact that without Ponting the team won’t be the same but at the same time he advocated the ‘moving on’ from outstanding players as the nature of sport.

‘‘Ricky’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories. The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.” he said.

‘‘Ricky’s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all. He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this.” he added

‘‘Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke’s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus.’’

Meanwhile, allrounder Shane Watson has been included in the squad announced on Monday along with Ryan Harris (in place of Mitchell Starc).

"He is an all-rounder of proven class and the NSP (National Selection Panel) is keen to have him rejoin the squad," Inverarity said.

Australian Squad:

Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson (vc), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.