Ponting rushed back to save Aussies against Kiwi humiliation

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Sydney, Feb 7 (ANI): The Australian selectors in a surprise move have recalled Ricky Ponting for the February 8 ODI at the SCG against New Zealand, despite giving him a two-game break after the opening loss in Perth last weekend.

Ponting's mid-season holiday has been cut short in an effort to end Australia's horrible one-day campaign, which threatens to include a Chappell-Hadlee Series loss to an under-strength New Zealand.

The Kiwis, given little hope of beating Australia, hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-match series, FOX Sports reported.

New Zealand's little-known bowling attack restricted the home side to just 181 in Perth and followed up with another disciplined display to keep Australia to 5-225 from their 50 overs in Melbourne.

Under-fire national selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said long-term plans to keep Ponting physically and mentally fresh for the intense year of cricket ahead had been scrapped with the series on the line.

"Ricky has today made a strong appeal to be allowed to play given that this is a 'decider' game. Given the circumstance, we have made an on balance decision to support his request and we will continue to monitor his workload closely," Hilditch said.

Hilditch denied the call-up of Ponting had anything to do with Michael Clarke's captaincy performance in Melbourne. (ANI)

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