"Ground conditions to decide on Clark, Hauritz", Ponting says

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Surrey, Aug 15 (ANI): Australian captain Ricky Ponting has said that ground conditions will decide whether pacer Stuart Clark or spinner Nathan Hauritz start for the fifth and final Ashes Test match at The Oval, starting on Thursday.

"There are no favourites for that bowling spot at the moment," The Daily Telegraph quoted Ponting, as saying.

"We have to wait and see what the conditions are going to be like at the Oval. The wicket could be anything," he added.

The 34-year-old said that he was confused about how the pitch would play, and he would delay the decision till he inspects the pitch.

"I've read a few things already about how the curator will have to be careful how he prepares the wicket. Over the last few years there have been a number of draws there," Ponting said.

"Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton have both written articles about it, with one saying don't prepare a green wicket and one saying don't prepare a turning wicket," he added.

Ponting further said that performances in the two-day practice match against an England second XI beginning in Canterbury today could be a big factor on the final team selection.

"We've got a bit of thinking to do. We'll see how they go over the next couple of days," Ponting said.

"It's going to be pretty difficult to change a side which has had such an emphatic win," he added.

In the fourth Test match at Headingley, Clark had reignited Australia's Ashes campaign when he took three wickets for seven runs from 6.5 overs by lunch on the first day as England lost the match by six wickets.

Clark was expensive in the second innings, bowling against a slogging tail, but Ponting said that had not hurt his chances. (ANI)

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