Ponting to take a break after Ashes

Australia will give Test skipper Ricky Ponting a break after the crunch Ashes series with England as it experiments with its one-day and Twenty20 line-ups, selectors said on Tuesday.

Ponting will miss both Australia’s Twenty20 matches against England, a one-off one-dayer against Scotland and the beginning of the one-day series against England as he returns home for a rest.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the Australian captain was “having his workload managed” as the team’s full schedule meant he would not get another break until next year.

“This gives Michael Clarke another opportunity to captain the Australian Twenty20 and ODI side,” Hilditch said.

Batsman Mike Hussey was omitted from the Twenty20 side, along with bowlers Peter Siddle and Nathan Bracken.

Hilditch said selectors wanted to assess the talents of bowlers Dirk Nannes and Adan Voges in the ultra-short form of the game ahead of next year’s ICC World Twenty20.

“We are keen to look at different players as specialist Twenty20 players in these two matches,” he said.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was called into the one-day squad, providing cover for Test glovesman Brad Haddin.

“Tim has been picked not only because he is an excellent wicketkeeper but because he has opened the batting in this form of the game with great success, which gives us good versatility if Brad Haddin misses any of the ODIs,” Hilditch said.

Australia play Scotland on August 28 before two Twenty20 matches and a seven-match one-day series against England from September 4 to September 20.

Ponting will return at some point of the one-day series but the selectors did not say when.—AFP

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