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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 12:18 GMT
Bevan misses finals
Bevan could miss the one-day series in Sri Lanka
Australia batsman Michael Bevan has been ruled out of the rest of the VB Series with a fractured rib.

An injury suffered in the nets recently got worse as Bevan hit 56 in Thursday's washed-out game against Zimbabwe.

He will miss the best-of-three finals series against India and is also a doubt next month's five-match one-day series in Sri Lanka.

"It's a boney fracture, so you're looking at anywhere from two to six weeks, said physio Errol Alcott.

X-rays confirmed Bevan had cracked his fifth rib on his right side. Rest is the only way to treat the injury.

Bevan said: "Halfway through the innings I just felt it go a little bit worse than what it had in the past."

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting lamented the loss of one of his key players.

"It's a loss for us and hopefully someone can fill his shoes and play the role that he plays for us," Ponting said.

Ponting himself will miss Sunday's match against India in Perth.

But the tourists should be near full strength, with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag expected back from injury.

Wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist will return to lead the hosts in their last match before the finals series, while another batsman will be added to the squad.

"We felt that a break would help Ricky in the lead-up to the series finals and upcoming tour of Sri Lanka," said chief selector Trevor Hohns.

"Adam Gilchrist is a proven leader and is the right man to captain the side in Ricky's absence."

Tendulkar is recuperating well from an ankle problem that has seen him miss three matches, while Sehwag has recovered from a shoulder complaint.

But spinner Anil Kumble is to be rested because of a sore shoulder.

India take on winless Zimbabwe in the final group match in Perth on Tuesday, three days before the finals begin in Melbourne.

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