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Ponting returns to nets, Ferguson in for Marsh

Ponting spent about an hour batting in the nets on Tuesday. (FILE)

By Agencies

Australia captain Ricky Ponting made a return to training on Tuesday as he bids to be fit in time for the World Cup, while batsmen Callum Ferguson was rushed into the squad for the final two one-day internationals against England. 

Ponting broke his finger during the Boxing Day Test and was forced to have surgery. He has missed the entire one-day series against England, which Australia have already sealed 4-1 with their 51-run victory in Brisbane on Sunday.
Ponting spent about an hour batting in the nets on Tuesday, while fast bowler Shaun Tait, who broke down earlier in the series with a leg muscle strain also practiced and is expected to be available for the next match on Wednesday in Sydney.               
Ferguson was called into the side as cover for the injured Shaun Marsh, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.  
Marsh injured his right hamstring in the victory in Brisbane on Sunday and had scans on Tuesday.            
“Scans have confirmed Shaun has a low grade right hamstring injury,” team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.           
“He will return to Perth ...and will be reviewed again later this week when the Australian team arrives for the final match of the ....series.    
“He will be unavailable for the two remaining games against England and his return to cricket will be determined by his progress over the next week.” 
Marsh was himself a late addition to the squad for the England series after Mike Hussey had surgery on a hamstring injury which put in doubt his participation in the World Cup and Marsh was his likely replacement should he be ruled out.        
The final game of the series in Perth on Sunday.              
The World Cup starts on February 19.