Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Symonds’

Symonds out for India Series, opt for pace

September 13, 2008

Australia will be counting on their pace attack, not spin, to beat India in their four-Test series that begins next month, chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said on Friday.

Australia named the uncapped Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle in their 15-man squad to provide back-up to the front line trio of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson for the series.

“It’ll depend on conditions, they are spinner friendly, but when we won there last time (in 2004) we won because of our quick bowlers and we think it’ll be the same this time,” Hilditch told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.

Selectors also included uncapped legspinner Bryce McGain, who could make his Test debut at the age of 36, and offspinner Jason Krejza in the squad to replace the now retired Stuart MacGill.

All-rounder Andrew Symonds, dropped from the side for the one-day series with Bangladesh in Darwin earlier this month after he missed a team meeting and went fishing instead, was not included.

Hilditch had said earlier in a statement that Symonds would not be considered again until the national selection panel were satisfied he was committed to playing for the team.

The 33-year-old, who was almost sent home from the 2005 Ashes tour of England when he turned up for a match still under the influence of alcohol, has been replaced by fellow all-rounder Shane Watson.

“You miss Andrew Symonds, he’s a great player, but this is just the way it is at the moment,” said Hilditch.

“At the moment it’s all about Andrew’s welfare and that process will take as long as it takes.”

Captain Ricky Ponting (wrist) and opening batsman Matthew Hayden (Achille’s tendon) have been included after they returned home injured from the tour of West Indies.

Ponting had surgery while Hayden underwent an extensive rehabilitation programme, with both missing the recent one-day series in Darwin.

The first Test begins in Bangalore on Oct. 9, followed by matches in Mohali (Oct. 17-21), Delhi (Oct. 29-Nov. 2) and in Nagpur (Nov. 5-9). Hilditch said the series was becoming as important to Australia as the Ashes series with England.

“It’s an iconic series, I don’t know what the players would say about which is more important, we always traditionally say the Ashes and that will always be up there, but this is really up there for the players,” he said.

“We’ve only won there once in 30 years so this’ll be a real test for this team and we’ve picked it to specifically try to win this series.”

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

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Andrew Symonds back in nets

September 13, 2008

Andrew Symonds has joined his good friend Matthew Hayden for a net session in Queensland in what is believed to be his first hit-out since being banished from Australia’s squad. Symonds took the opportunity for some practice on Friday, the same day he was left out of Australia’s 15-man touring party to visit India.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Queensland were hopeful the allrounder would be training with the state squad within a couple of weeks. He has reportedly already spoken to Phil Jauncey, the sports psychologist who will help Symonds through his rehabilitation program organised by Cricket Australia.

However, Cricket Australia stood firm on Symonds’ situation and told the selectors he was not ready to be considered for the India trip. Aside from a brief statement that shed little light on his situation, Symonds has not spoken publicly since being sent home from Darwin for going fishing when he should have been at a team meeting.

Symonds’ general attitude has been a concern for Australia over the past 12 months, a period during which he was subjected to monkey chants during an ODI series in India and was then at the centre of a racism controversy with India’s Harbhajan Singh. The incident resulted in Harbhajan being initially banned for three Tests but then cleared on appeal.

Adam Gilchrist, Symonds’ former team-mate, believes the batsman remains upset about the racism episodes. “I think it is fair to say that Andrew Symonds is heavily affected by the last year’s incidents,” Gilchrist told CNN-IBN.

“I can’t speak for him as in what he was thinking but it is difficult to explain things. It is a common problem or issue and it is only going to be increased with pressures and intensity and the scrutiny that these players go through.”

The loss of Symonds, who has averaged 77.70 in Tests in the past year, is a big blow to Australia’s middle order ahead of the four-Test tour. Harbhajan, who will play in the series, is keen to put last season’s controversy behind him.

“I would prefer to look forward,” Harbhajan told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He is obviously a great player and there is no doubt about his ability to change a match. He has done a lot for Australian cricket. I hope he is well, and that he is getting better.”

Hayden and Ponting’s fitness improving

September 9, 2008

Ricky Ponting has returned to batting after wrist surgery

Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden, Australia’s two key injury worries for India, are on track to take part in the four-Test series starting next month. Ponting left the West Indies tour early to have surgery on his wrist while Hayden has been struggling with a lingering Achilles tendon problem.

“Everything has been progressing exactly as we liked with Haydos,” Australia’s coach Tim Nielsen told the Herald Sun. Hayden did not appear in a game in the West Indies and the team will be hoping he recovers in time, especially if Andrew Symonds does not make the tour due to his rehabilitation after being sent home from the one-day series in Darwin.

Ponting had a short bat at the pre-series camp in Brisbane last month and has continued to increase his workload. He visited Alex Kountouris, Australia’s physiotherapist, in Sydney this week.

Nielsen said they would wait to make a decision on Symonds’ availability for the India trip. The squad will be named following Australia’s current match against India A in Hyderabad and the first Test is in Bangalore on October 9.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar