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Confident Ponting to ramp up preparation

Ricky Ponting will take part in some sprint work on Thursday which the former Australian skipper hopes will dispel any fears of him being a last-minute withdrawal from Friday's first Test against South Africa.

Forced to pull out early in last week's Sheffield Shield game for Tasmania due to hamstring tightness, Ponting said on Wednesday he was comfortable with how his body felt two days out from the Gabba clash.

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"I came down early and did 20 or 30 minutes of running before the boys got here today, which is part of the process the physios have mapped out for me for the next few days," Ponting said.

"I'll probably ramp things up a little on Thursday with a bit more intense running with some sprint work and another full-on hit in the nets.

"I didn't feel anything with it today so I expect to be right."

With speculation still lingering over the final make-up of skipper Michael Clarke's bowling attack, the heat was on in the nets on Wednesday as the battery of fast bowlers went about their work.


Clarke copped a blow on the wrist, and was seen with his hand in a bucket of ice following his net session.

"The boys (bowlers) have been going exceptionally well trying to impress and that's good," Ponting said.

"That's the sort of intensity we have come to demand around our net sessions now.

"When we train, all the bowlers are going flat out and they've got new balls and all the batters are making sure they get through their first 20 balls in the nets."