Symonds will be in playing XI: Ponting

Updated: 19 November 2008 08:52 IST

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Wednesday said the allrounder will certainly play in the first cricket Test against New Zealand on Thursday.

Melbourne:

Clearing the air over troubled allrounder Andrew Symonds' inclusion, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Wednesday said the allrounder will certainly play in the first cricket Test against New Zealand on Thursday.

However, Ponting made it clear that Shane Watson and off-spinner Jason Krejza will have to fight it out for the remaining spot.

"Andrew Symonds will definitely play the game, back into the Test team, which is fantastic news for him," he said adding, "We'll wait until tomorrow morning until we finalise what the final 11 will be, but it will be down to Krejza and Watson," Ponting was quoted as saying in 'The Age'.

Ponting also cleared doubts about Symonds's form, saying the Queenslander has done enough in the past two years to justify his selection.

"Obviously with Symmo, when he was deemed to be fit and ready to go again I think it was important that we got him back into that team.

"Him being a senior member of our team and someone who was a very successful member of our team before he went out of it, it almost becomes an injury-type replacement. He's been out for a couple of months but he's fit and ready to go now and he deserves his spot back in the side," he said.

Ponting said he would take a final call on the final playing XI at the last minute, saying it would depend heavily on the weather conditions overnight and either Watson or Krejza would be unlucky to sit out on Thursday.

"They will be desperately unlucky, whoever misses out there," Ponting said.

"Krejza's taken 12 wickets in the last Test match he played and at different times in the Indian series. Shane Watson was probably our best bowler. So there are tough decisions to be made there, he said.

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