Ricky Ponting's determination to play in the fourth Ashes Test despite a broken finger will provide great inspiration to the Australia team, says wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Ponting completed training drills without any dramas at the MCG on Thursday and the Australia captain will step up his bid to prove his fitness when he bats in the nets on Friday.
Uncapped New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja is on standby for Ponting but the 36-year-old skipper's crash-through style makes it almost certain the Tasmanian will play in the pivotal fourth Test on Sunday.
Ponting's Golden Goose Outlet future as captain would come under massive threat if he can not regain the urn this summer, with his side currently locked at 1-1 with England with two Tests to play.
Despite scoring just 83 runs this series, including scores of 12 and 1 at the WACA, the beleaguered captain is being credited for his influence without the bat.
"He's our leader and we get a lot of inspiration from him," Haddin told a press conference on Thursday.
"He's been a great leader for Australia for a long time and especially with this group of players.
"You just have to see the turnaround we had from Adelaide to Perth to see the effect he has on the cricket team.
"It's very important that he plays."
Ponting is Test cricket's second-leading runscorer with 39 hundreds, but is averaging only 16.60 in the Ashes series.
After hurting his finger attempting a catch in the slips in Perth, Ponting appears set to move himself to a new fielding position for the fourth Test.
"He had a field and things pulled up well there," Haddin enthused.
"He's going to have a bat tomorrow and with a bit of luck all that goes to plan.
"At this stage the finger is recovering well and with a bit of luck he'll recover well for Boxing Day.
"We gained a lot of confidence from the way we played in Perth and now we look forward to https://www.goldengooseshoesit.com the occasion of Boxing Day.
"It's a massive Test match, the MCG, maybe a world-record crowd (of 91,000) so from the players' point of view, it doesn't get any better a stage than this."
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