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Ponting says he would see a series win as an amazing effort by the boys

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Hyderabad, Nov.5 (ANI): Australian cricket skipper Ricky Ponting has said that if the current squad came away with a series win against India despite the string of injuries, it would simply be an "amazing effort" on the part of the boys.

"If you consider everything that's happened to us over the last couple of weeks, it would be an amazing effort if this group of players were good enough to get over the line," The Age quoted Ponting, as saying.

"I think we showed the other night (in Mohali) that if we play even somewhere near our best, we're a really good chance of winning the series, but with five or six guys - probably more than that - out of our starting XI that aren't here at the moment, we're going along nicely. And we haven't played our best.

With our batting we probably left 30-40 runs out there the other night so, hopefully, that all clicks tomorrow, and if it does we know we'll be well in the contest again," Ponting added.

At least five players - Brett Lee, Tim Paine, James Hopes, Peter Siddle and Moises Henriques - have returned home with injuries in the past 10 days. Mitchell Johnson is still playing, but with an ankle injury.

Victorian all-rounder Andrew McDonald and New South Wales pacer Burt Cockley will fly out of Sydney today to join the Australian team in Guwahati tomorrow.

The 23-year-old Cockley is rated very highly, but has played only eight Sheffield Shield matches and four Ford Ranger Cup matches for the Blues.

Pacers Ben Hilfenhaus and Clint McKay, batting all-rounder Adam Voges and uncapped spinner Jon Holland are in the running for the match in Hyderabad.

Australian coach Tim Nielsen said Hilfenhaus would replace Siddle, meaning the last player into the side should be either Voges or McKay.

Nielsen yesterday predicted McKay, who arrived from Australia two days ago on his first national call-up, would come into the team "in the next couple of games, if not tomorrow".

"He's a big kid that's done well over here and he brings the ball down from a height, so we'll hopefully see him get a bit of bounce in the conditions," the coach said of the 26-year-old Victorian.

Ponting said he would like Hilfenhaus to also play in the last two matches of the series - in Guwahati on Sunday and in Mumbai next Wednesday.

"The likelihood is he'll play the last three games, and then we'll see how he gets through those games," Ponting said. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, November 5, 2009, 12:11 [IST]
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