Under-used Symonds eyes long stay

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symondAndrew Symonds might be suffering from a lack of batting time as Australia’s top order dominates at the World Cup, but he feels ready for a long innings if his team-mates allow it. Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are in the top 15 run-scorers for the tournament and while the success has been great for the team, it has prevented Symonds from starring in his preferred discipline after returning from arm surgery.

Symonds has bowled in each game and he was able to employ medium pace in the win over England on Sunday, which is a huge bonus for Australia with Shane Watson out injured. However, his batting at No. 5 has been limited to cameos of 18, 13, and 28 not out.

“If I’m not getting a hit, it usually means we’re winning every game,” he told AAP. “But I suppose when it gets down to semi-finals and important games in the Super Eights, I was a bit toey myself to get out there and see how I was actually going. Out in the middle I felt balanced and I was seeing the ball crisply. So I’ve now got some confidence if required to play a long innings in the next week or so.”

His 28 against England was almost cut even shorter following a contentious catch from Kevin Pietersen, who threw the ball back on to the field as he headed over the boundary. While the umpires reached a not-out verdict after being crowded by the England players, Symonds did not get involved because “I didn’t want to get myself in trouble”.

“As soon as I saw it happen, I knew what my opinion was on it so I stayed away,” Symonds said in The Age. “It would have been a bit of a build-up of frustration because I hadn’t had a bat for a while. Going over there and blowing up would have not helped the situation. Getting fined or getting in trouble wouldn’t have been the best thing. If the decision hadn’t gone my way, you may have seen a different side of me.”

Australia face Ireland in Barbados on Friday and Symonds is again likely to be a key member of the attack if Brad Hodge is picked at No. 7 and only four specialist bowlers are chosen. The change in balance requires Symonds and Clarke to deliver at least ten overs between them.

“I enjoy being involved in the game so I don’t have a problem with that,” Symonds said. “My shoulder and my bicep seemed to handle bowling the other day. I wasn’t as accurate as I would like to have been but I know I’m much better off for the run now.”

Australia are undefeated after six matches and Symonds said they needed to be wary of Ireland’s “cunning players”. “If they have a day out, they could make life difficult for us,” he said. “So we’ll be looking to have a clinical and professional day out against them and hopefully we just win that game and we can move on.”

Source:Cricket Worldcup

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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