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Back injury sidelines Ponting

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been ruled out of todays Twenty20 clash against India at the MCG with a back injury which he picked up in the Adelaide Test | cricket20

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been ruled out of todays Twenty20 clash against India at the MCG with a back injury which he picked up in the Adelaide Test.

Ponting, who confessed he had been "flat on his back" since Adelaide, was last night receiving treatment from team physio Alex Kountouris and would make a last-minute decision on his availability after he had a net session, if that was possible, some time today.

"I didn't play the last Twenty20 game so if I'm fit I'll have to come back into the side somewhere, hopefully I do, so we've got a bit of discussion mainly about the team and just mainly about how we want to approach this game," Ponting said.

"I injured my back last week in Adelaide obviously, been pretty much flat on my back for the last couple of days just trying to give myself the best chance to recover.

"Once the physio arrives down here he's going to give me a pretty good looking over and see how I am and whether or not I train today or (Friday) morning will just be the big question I think. Right at the moment I'm feeling OK, but as I said I haven't done anything to really test it out."

Ponting missed Australia's last Twenty20 clash, its demolition of New Zealand in Perth in December, to ensure he limited his workload coming into a busy summer.

Should he not play today, Michael Clarke would again skipper the side and selectors would have an easier time deciding who of the fringe players Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Adam Voges would play.

India has beaten Australia in its previous two Twenty20 matches, one of which was a semi-final at the Twenty20 World Cup and the other a match in Mumbai during Australia's tour there late last year.

As a result, Ponting said the Australians would not be taking the match lightly.

"India had an upper hand over everybody in the World Cup, played some excellent cricket through there and were deserved winners of the Twenty20 world championship," he said.

"They've definitely got a very good outfit, played very well a while ago. So for us, yeah, maybe there are some scores to settle. Maybe we do want to get out there and keep a really close eye on us and our Twenty20 cricket.

"We are going to be playing more of it and there is definitely some room for improvement for Australia."

Indian captain M. S. Dhoni said the Indians were not satisfied with their preparation going into the one-day series and would be forced to use today's game as a type of practice session for the upcoming limited-overs tri-series.

"It would have been great if the guys that have come in would have got some more practice sessions, I think they got just one practice session (on Wednesday)," Dhoni said. "So I think we will take the Twenty20 as one of the practice games.

"Of course we will look to win but that is the best that the reserve guys have so we need to get the best out of it."

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