Melbourne:Australia chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has backed Andrew Symonds, saying that the Queenslander will be better suited to bat among top six in the first Test against New Zealand on Thursday as he is a more senior all rounder.
The decision on the final two places in the squad, of which Symonds, Shane Watson and Jason Krejza are contenders, will likely be made on the morning of the Test, but Hilditch has clearly given Symonds thumbs up over Watson.
"Roy's still the more senior all-rounder in the squad at the moment, and he's well suited to batting in the top six," Hilditch was quoted as saying in 'the Age'.
"He has cemented his position over the last two years. We have put a lot of time into Shane Watson over the years, through good times and difficult ones, and as far as the future is concerned, we see him having a big impact on Australian cricket.
"Watto's bowling was extremely good in India, but he needs to cement that No 6 spot. Whether they play in the same side or not isn't clear yet, but for us, the simple formula is to pick our best six batters and our best four bowlers," he added.
Hilditch also reiterated Krejza's inclusion in the squad tomorrow but said that the inclement weather was making selection matters difficult, with 13th man Peter Siddle asked to remain in Brisbane yesterday despite being initially assigned to return to state duties with Victoria.
"We're just keeping all our options open," Hilditch said.
"We're still very much of the view that in normal circumstances you play a specialist spinner. It's not unusual yet. If it's a green seaming wicket, it is not as essential to have a spin bowler, but there is rarely a time a spinner doesn't come into a match at some stage," he added.