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Ricky Ponting is ruled out of fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney

| 30.12.2010

It’s not often an Australian cricketer can command any sort of sympathy from the English public, but spare a thought for the under-pressure Ricky Ponting who may never captain Australia again.

Ponting has come under sever scrutiny during this Ashes tour and his performances with the bat have been his worst in ten years, leaving many to believe that his time as captain, and even as batsman, is up.

A broken finger has ruled him out of the final Ashes Test and Ponting is “devastated” that he will not be able to lead Australia out at Sydney.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke will now be left with the task of salvaging some Aussie pride as they look to square the series.

For the second time in this series, Australia enter a Test match as the underdogs and the 9/4 available for the Australian’s to win looks a decent bet if England become complacent after retaining the urn.

England captain Andrew Strauss has demanded a win from his side in Sydney declaring: “It would be a damp squid if we didn’t go on and win in Sydney,” and England are 11/8 to beat Australia.

The fifth Test promises to be an intriguing affair as England look to demolish what’s left of the Australian pride, but the Aussies can never be ruled out and with personal pride on the line, we could see a tremendous battle in Sydney.

Needing a win or a draw in Sydney, England are as short as 4/11 to win the series but it’s 2/1 that the series ends in a draw which could only occur if Australia win.

Debutant Usman Khawaja will step in for Ponting at number three but faces a tough task to inspire his side to victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

A £10 stake on Andrew Strauss being man of the match in the fifth Test would return £130. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.