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Jaques called in to cover for Ponting, Symonds

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Sydney, Feb 27 (UNI) Australia today added Phil Jaques to the ODI squad against South Africa to cover for injured captain Ricky Ponting and allrounder Andrew Symonds.

''As we're two batsmen down for the time being, due to the injuries to Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds, the selectors feel it is essential to fly Phil Jaques in as cover,'' National Selection Panel Chairman Trevor Hohns said in a Cricket Australia release here.

''There's no doubt Phil's form has been great this Summer and we've every confidence in him if his services are called upon,'' he added.

He said Jaques might return home in case Ponting gets fit for the rest of the series.

''Once Ricky Ponting has regained his fitness the NSP will review the numbers in the squad with a view to the remaining matches in the series.'' Earlier, Ponting strained an abdominal muscle during a training session and had to pull out of the first match, which the Aussies lost yesterday.

''It is a painful condition which is central to all movement so it affects his batting, bowling and running - pretty much everything,'' Australian team physio Errol Alcott said.

''He will undergo intensive treatment and will be reassessed late this week.'' Allrounder Andrew Symonds is already sidelined with a hip strain and Stuart Clark is struggling with a rib injury causing serious problems for the selectors.

UNI XC PM YA HS1049

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