Lee, Hopes ruled out for Delhi ODI

Lee, Hopes ruled out for Delhi ODINew Delhi, Oct 30 : Australian fast bowler Brett Lee and all-rounder James Hopes have been ruled out of Saturday's one-day international against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Lee, who suffered an elbow injury in the opening ODI at Vadodara, missed the next match in Nagpur while Hopes too had to sit out of the second ODI with a hamstring injury.    

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Friday the duo would take a couple of days to be fully fit for international action.    

"Both of them turned up at the nets today (Friday). Brett was bowling with his full run up and is 85 per cent fit but we don't want to risk his injury. Hopes' condition was slightly better that Brett's. But there are still some concerns and we will give them a couple of days to be fully match fit. Hopefully they can turn up in Mohali," Ponting said.    

The absence of two bowlers affected Australia's performance as India scored a massive 354 enroute to their 99-run victory in Nagpur and level the series 1-1.    

Ponting admitted that Lee's absence at the death overs did make a difference as India plundered 108 runs in the last 10 overs. "Injuries cost a little more than expected at Nagpur."    

"That's bit of a concern for us (bowling at the death). Brett is one guy who bowls well at the death and he has been doing a good job for us. But it depends whom you are bowling at. If there is somebody like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni then you will go for some more runs in the end and that's what happened in Nagpur. He was well supported by Raina."    

The crushing victory by the home team notwithstanding, Ponting said the series is still wide open.    

"I am not a firm believer in momentum from game to game. I think its more (momentum) during the game on a specific time."

Given the way the Kotla track played during the Champions League, Ponting is expecting a low scoring game.

"Its a different top for ODIs. Going by the Champions League matches, the wicket will be low and slow. The spinners will play a role but then it is also easy to rotate the strike against them. So we will have a good look at the wicket and then decide on the team."    

"Yes some of our guys have played here in the Champions League and we will take their inputs. But its one thing to talk about and different to perfrom under pressure."    

Australia had been dealt with another injury at Nagpur with wicket-keeper Tim Paine being ruled out of the series with a fractured finger. South Australian captain Graham Manou will be his replacement for the rest of the series.    

"He (Manou) will be joining us today afternoon. The good thing is that he had some international experience during the Ashes. He has loads of experience at the domestic level. He is a highly talented player and its a good opportunity for him," he said.    (IANS)