Ponting asks Symonds to get back to his aggressive form

Melbourne, Nov 20 (UNI) Skipper Ricky Ponting has urged all-rounder Andrew Symonds not to allow recent controversies affect his aggressive edge to his international comeback against New Zealand at Gabba today.

Symonds, who was out of the Australian ODI squad and in exile since his 'go-fishing' episode in August, was yesterday reinstated as Australia's first-choice all-rounder over Shane Watson.

The announcement, brought much respite for the Queensland veteran and Ponting was hopeful that Symonds would soon rediscover the swagger and snarl that has defined his play in recent years.

''I don't expect him to be the model citizen when he comes back into the side, I expect him to be the Andrew Symonds of old,'' Ponting was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald.' ''That's what we all love about him. We all love his personality and the way he is around the team. I love the way he goes about his cricket on the field as well.

''I think he has to know and understand that there's going to be a lot of attention on him in the first couple of games he plays, and I'll make that pretty clear to him this afternoon.

''I know that he's on edge a little bit the last few days, wanting to know if he's back in the side or not, and now that he's been named I'm sure that will be a load of his shoulders and he can slot back into the side and be that performer we all want him to be,'' he said.

The 33-year-old all-rounder was however, informed of his recall yesterday by chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch, ending a torrid six-month period during which he pondered quitting the game.

''I've got to admit I've been quite anxious about selection, and probably wouldn't have slept tonight if I didn't find out today,'' Symonds said.

''When 'Digger' (Hilditch) came into the rooms after training and told me I was playing, I think my first feeling was relief and then happiness. I can't wait to put on the whites and the baggy green and walk on to the field with the boys again. It's something I've missed.

''I never really had any definite timelines for getting back into the team. I was just happy to be back around the boys and to have that chance to play cricket for Australia again,'' he said.

Ponting also expressed some feeling of excitement by the prospect of having back Symonds' experience and versatility at his disposal.

''He does add a lot to your team - he adds that X-factor, he adds that great presence in the field. Having that sort of cricketer in the line-up, so far as balance goes, is excellent,'' the skipper added.


Story first published: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 11:36 [IST]
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