Symonds back in Test squad

Melbourne, Nov 13 (UNI) Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds was today recalled to Australia's Test squad ahead of next week's first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba.

Symonds was included in a 13-man squad along with Victorian fast bowler Peter Siddle as selectors dumped leg-spinning all-rounder Cameron White.

Symonds returns after missing the four-Test tour of India when he was dropped after he went fishing instead of attending a team meeting during the one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin in September.

Siddle made his Test debut in the second Test against India in Mohali, taking four wickets, but then made way when Stuart Clark returned from an elbow injury.

The selection chairman Andrew Hilditch said Symonds deserved to return after completing a prescribed rehabilitation programme despite recent poor form in domestic cricket.

''Over the previous 12 months, Andrew has cemented his place in the Test team with outstanding performances at home and in the West Indies, and he now deserves to come back into the Australian squad,'' said Hilditch.

However, there is concern over the fitness of batsman Michael Clarke.

''Michael Clarke has been selected subject to fitness,'' Hilditch said.

''Michael contracted a virus during the fourth Test in India and was extremely ill during the match. An assessment on his availability will be made in Brisbane.'' While appreciating the performance of Jason Krejza, who took 12 wickets on his debut in the fourth Test against India, he said Krejza deserved to take the spinner's role ahead of Cameron White.

''Jason Krejza richly deserves to retain his place in the side after such an outstanding debut in Nagpur.

''It will now be a significant challenge for him to adapt back to Australian conditions and continue his development.'' ''Obviously it will be disappointing for Cameron White to miss selection after playing four Tests in India.

''With our return to Australia, however, only one specialist spinner has been named in the squad.'' Australian 13-man squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson.


Story first published: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 11:36 [IST]
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