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Ponting determined to play in MCG Test

AFP
Dec 24, 2010 at 10:01am IST

Sydney: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said on Friday he was confident of playing in the fourth Ashes Test against England as he recovers from a fractured finger.

Ponting broke the little finger on his left hand while attempting a slips catch during Australia's third Test win in Perth last weekend.

But with the series tied at 1-1, Ponting said he was determined to play in the crucial Test starting from Sunday before an anticipated 90,000-plus crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ponting determined to play in Boxing Day Test

Ponting showed no signs of discomfort at Friday's team training.

"If there is ever a Test match you want to play it's Boxing Day in Melbourne, so I have been doubly determined to make sure I'm fit after suffering a broken little finger," Ponting said in his newspaper column in The Australian.

"I'm confident I'll be there playing in front of what we all hope will be a world record crowd of 91,000 or more at the MCG, because it doesn't get much bigger than this."

Ponting showed no signs of discomfort at Friday's team training.

The skipper batted against the bowling machine in the indoor nets at the MCG before venturing outside to face some throw-downs from coach Tim Nielsen and also take on some of the net bowlers.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke said Ponting had told him he was pleased with how the session went.

"He said it felt pretty good after facing some balls on the machines and facing the bowlers (in the nets)," Clarke told a press conference.

"We're all hopeful and confident. He's going to have to wait until tomorrow to see how it pulls up after having a bat today.

"But he's pretty happy with how things went."

Ponting said in his newspaper column that while his teammates spent a few days resting after Australia's 267-run victory in Perth, he flew to Melbourne to consult a specialist.

"I have always been confident of playing on Boxing Day, but I wanted to get the best medical advice to make sure there were no complications," he said.

"The last thing I want to do is let the team down if something goes wrong.

"However the prognosis has been positive and I fielded yesterday without discomfort."

Ponting said he took an elbow injury into last year's Boxing Day Test against Pakistan and had been "80-20 (percent)" about not playing.

"This year I am 80-20 or even 90-10 sure of playing," he said. "This time things are nowhere as bad as last year."

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