Ponting welcomes Symonds in the Aussie team

Updated: 15 November 2008 14:11 IST

Ricky Ponting hailed Andrew Symonds' match-winning abilities and said the all-rounder was a big-match player, whom his side needed down the batting order.

Ponting welcomes Symonds in the Aussie team

Melbourne:

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Saturday hailed Andrew Symonds' match-winning abilities and said the all-rounder was a big-match player, whom his side needed down the batting order.

Symonds returned to the national side after missing the India tour after completing a rehabilitation programme, recommended by Cricket Australia.

Ponting looked happy with Symonds' return in the team and compared him to retired stumper Adam Gilchrist.

"He's like Gilly (Adam Gilchrist) if he gets in and gets going a Test match can change very, very quickly. You almost need that sort of player in that one to six role, he's good at batting with the tail, you know he can clear the fence in that situation and keep the scoreboard ticking over," Ponting said.

"It is the same with a lot of those really talented players, Michael Clarke is a good example of that, his average is probably low 40s at state level and mid 40s, 45 at Test level," Ponting was quoted as saying by 'The Australia'.

"There's not many bowlers want to see him 22 yards away when he's going."

Meanwhile, former skipper Steve Waugh has suggested that Australia should not sacrifice Shane Watson to accommodate Symonds. Rather, the strategy should be to play both the all-rounders in the Test series against New Zealand.

"It's a difficult choice. But Watson did very well (in India) and he might come in as a third quick. I think Australia would like to have both those players in the team if they can," Waugh said.

Waugh felt Symonds would take some time to settle down in international cricket and the team should not expect a 'miracle' from him.

"I think they need him back in the side, his spirit back in the side, the way he carries himself and his enthusiasm.

Whether he is, form wise, ready to get back into it and mentally, the jury is still out on that, because he hasn't done well for Queensland yet.

"We don't want to expect miracles straight away in Brisbane, I think it will take him a couple of games to get back into it," he said.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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