MELBOURNE:Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been ruled out of the Twenty20 cricket international against India owing to a back injury.
The team management decided not to risk Ponting in the quickest format of the game ahead of its first one-day tri-series match to be played on Sunday.
"His back is still not 100 per cent and with the uncertain nature of Twenty20 cricket we're just a bit concerned. It we're fielding and he has to dive in the first over it could leave us one short," said coach Tim Nielsen.
Brad Hodge will replace Ponting at number three while Michael Clarke will captain the side in the one-off T20 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Nielsen, however, was not sure if Ponting would be available for the tri-series opener.
"We'll have to keep assessing him and see how he goes each game from here," he said.
Ponting had sustained the injury on the last day of the fourth and final Test at Adelaide last week.
Ponting had also missed their previous Twenty20 match at Perth against New Zealand during the Chappell-Hadlee series in December.