Ponting denies keeping Lee, Mitch out in preparation for Windies series

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Nagpur, Oct. 28 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has denied reports that he is keeping injured fast bowlers Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson out of the Nagpur ODI against India to give them sufficient rest in preparation for the home series against the West Indies.

"Their injuries are severe enough to keep them out of the game tomorrow. It's not a resting thing at all.

If I felt we could play those guys and get them through the game [we would]. Being the second game of the series and having a good win in the first game, it would have been nice to rock around [with them] again," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.

Ponting further said he was optimistic about Lee and Johnson recovering in time for Saturday's match in Delhi.

"They're probably better than we hoped. They're actually not that bad. We will have had a few days since they hurt themselves until the third game - close enough on a week - and hopefully they've responded well enough by then to be in contention," he said.

Australia's bowling depth will be tested against India at Nagpur.

The team management is likely to rope in either Ben Hilfenhaus or Doug Bollinger as cover for Lee, out with an elbow injury, and possibly Johnson, who rolled his ankle in the first match. (ANI)

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