Haddin hopes Ponting would take the field for Boxing Day test

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  • Haddin hopes Ponting would take the field for Boxing Day test

Haddin hopes Ponting would take the field for Boxing Day test

Australian wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin is hopeful that the Australian captain Ricky Ponting would regain full fitness before the fourth Ashes test set to start on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ponting who is the second highest run getter in test history besides scoring 39 test hundreds injured his finger whilst attempting a catch of Jonathan Trott during Australia’s victory surge in the second English innings at Perth, the Aussies won the test by 267 runs.

Ponting was forced off the field on the fourth morning when the hosts wrapped up a convincing win to square the five match series 1-1.

According to the Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin the leader of the pack is raring to go and wants to lead his team in the crucial test that the hosts need to win in order to strengthen their grip on the Ashes urn that they lost to England in 2009.

"He had a field and things pulled up well there," said Haddin after taking part in a practice session. "He's going to have a bat tomorrow and with a bit of luck all that goes to plan. At this stage the finger is recovering well and with a bit of luck he'll recover well for Boxing Day. The signs are all good at this stage."

Ponting's form with the bat has been a real worry for him and the national selectors the Tasmanian who would go down as one of the greats of the game has been nowhere near his best. Since the end of Australia's home Tests last summer he has averaged a mere 29 runs per innings with out making a century in nine matches.

However Haddin has reposed complete confidence in his abilities stating that he was one of the best ever and had to be a part of the team at all occasions.

"He's our leader and we get a lot of inspiration from him," Haddin said. "He's been a great leader for Australia for a long time and especially with this group of players. You just have to see the turnaround we had from Adelaide to Perth to see the effect he has on the cricket team. It's very important that he plays."

There are some real selection concerns for the Aussies ahead of the MCG test; besides the composition of the batting line up they also have to ensure that they field a solid attack that can counter the conditions that are set to be more batting friendly at the MCG especially after the Perth game.

The hosts have to ponder on the composition of the bowling attack and make out if they need to play in their playing eleven left arm spinner Michael Beer.

Beer has a strong chance of forcing his way in at the expense of Ben Hilfenhaus or Peter Siddle.

"I think if a spinner does come in, it will be a tough call on whoever they leave out," Haddin said. "Ryan [Harris] and Mitch [Johnson] obviously got the results in Perth but look at the spell [Ben] Hilfenhaus bowled, when Mitch was taking the wickets.

"He shut down the scoreboard. And look at the aggressive spells Sidds bowled that made the English batsmen quite uncomfortable." Haddin feels that the Aussies would be going all out for a win as they have to ensure that they take the series in order to regain the Ashes.

The final test match is at Sydney and would be rendered a dead rubber if the hosts lose the Melbourne test which is set to be played in front of a record crowd at one of the biggest stadiums in the world.