Sydney, Nov 29 (UNI) Australia's preparation just ahead of their crucial home series against India received a severe jolt, after they were plagued by injury scares with key players Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden becoming the recent entrant in the growing list of casualties.
The 36-year-old 'big-shouldered' opener is sufferring from a knee tendonitis, while Symonds is struggling with an ankle injury, which he aggravated during the second Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart last week. He also missed the training yesterday and has been ruled out of Queensland's Pura Cup match against South Australia at the Gabba today.
If these were not enough for skipper Ricky Ponting, Hayden's opening partner Phil Jaques is also laid low by mumps, leaving the Aussie opening slot in some serious crisis.
To add to the woes for the Kangaroos, leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and all-rounder Michael Clarke were also injured, leaving almost half of the Test side sidelined.
MacGill is suffering from a chronic knee injury, while Clarke is nursing a hamstring problem.
Australia's home series against India starts on the Boxing Day with the first Test match at Melbourne.