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Injured Ponting could miss India tour

Last updated on: September 19, 2007 18:43 IST

The Australian team on Wednesday received a major jolt with captain Ricky Ponting being ruled out for the rest of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup due to injury which also rendered him doubtful for the tour of India.

In Tuesday's Super Eight match against Pakistan, which Australia lost by six wickets, Ponting suffered a hamstring strain while batting.

Ponting's injury came at a time when the world champions are struggling to make it to the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup and would take on Sri Lanka in a crucial Super Eight encounter on Thursday.

Along with Pakistan, the winner of the match will reach the last four stage from Group F.

Australia's physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said the injury may force Ponting out of action for four weeks, which means he may miss out on the seven-match one-day series against India beginning on September 29.

"Over the next three to five days we will have a much better indication of where it's leading, so we will know whether he will have to go home or be able to go to India," Kountouris told mediapersons.

"Hopefully, he will take some part in the series in India. The best case scenario is a couple of weeks. The worst case scenario is four weeks," Kountouris said, adding "he just took off for a run and felt it a bit."

The physio said the Aussie skipper might be experiencing such an injury for the first time in his career.

"He was stretching his left leg because he was not sure if there was a problem. I don't think he has had a hamstring strain before," Kountouris said.

Due to his wife's illness, Ponting reached South Africa just two days prior to the tournament began.

But Kountouris is not sure whether Ponting's late arrival or the return to action after a four-month interval led to the injury.

"It can happen anytime. We get them anytime in a season. He has been here for a week now so really I could not say with confidence that it had anything to do with it. It's just coincidence."

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia's national selection panel said that Tasmanian fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus would replace the injured Shaun Tait in the 14-man squad for the upcoming tour of India.

"Unfortunately Shaun hasn't recovered in time from his surgery to be able to take part in the upcoming tour to India. He is however expected to make a complete recovery in the next few weeks," selection committee chairman Andrew Hilditch said.

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