Australia will be without their usual captain Ricky Ponting for the Sydney Test match against England that begins from January 3 next year. The captain as injured in the third Test match of the series and played in the fourth game with that fracture to the little finger but it has been reported that the injury was aggravated by playing in the fourth game. >

In place of Ponting, Michael Clarke will lead the side while Brad Haddin will be the vice-captain of the team. Australia has already lost the Ashes by losing the Melbourne Test match and will need to win the game to be able to tie the series. A loss would mean that they would have lost the series 3-1. >

The resting of Ponting puts a big question mark over his future as the captain of the side as he has had a poor series during the Ashes. Not only did he become the second ever Australian captain to lose the Ashes thrice, he also scored only 100 odd runs in the four games at an average of 16 and looked distinctly uncomfortable while batting throughout the series.

However, that does not mean that Clarke will be an automatic choice as the captain in the long-run. For long, he has had his critics of his captaincy while his batting form in the Ashes was worse than Ponting. Throughout the series, he had had his issues with the batting and for him to be able to turn things around will need something special.

Brad Haddin has been named the deputy skipper. The fifth and the final Test match starts from January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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