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Ponting named Australia captain


Ricky Ponting has been asked to step back into the role of Australia captain after skipper Michael Clarke was ruled out of their one-day triangular series match against Sri Lanka on Friday, chairman of selectors John Inverarity has said. 

Ponting stepped down from the role after last year's World Cup on the sub-continent and was replaced by Clarke. The Tasmanian has remained in the side but after Clarke sustained a mild hamstring strain Ponting was asked to don the armband on a temporary basis. 

Opening batsman David Warner had been the official vice-captain of the one-day team, but Inverarity said they were not keen on placing too much pressure on the 25-year-old who has played only 13 ODI matches. 
"David Warner is a young player making his way," Inverarity said in a statement. "He displays considerable leadership potential, but the (selection panel) is of the view that he should not, at this moment, have the added responsibility of captaincy thrust on him. 

"David has been gaining valuable experience under Michael Clarke's captaincy and now he will have the opportunity to grow his leadership skills further as vice-captain to Ricky Ponting." 

Clarke's injury, sustained in his side's four-wicket loss to India in Adelaide on Sunday, was not considered serious and he had been included in Australia's 14-man squad with the hope he would be fit again for their match against India in Brisbane on Sunday. 

Pace bowler Ryan Harris had also been released to recover from several "minor niggles", Inverarity said, with Brett Lee and Ben Hilfenhaus brought back into the squad. 

Lee had initially been ruled out of the series after he broke a bone in his foot earlier this month and was expected to take up to six weeks to recover. 

"Brett is making a good recovery from his toe injury and will be given rigorous fitness tests before Friday's fixture," Inverarity said.