Symonds selected to play in Queensland Vs Western Australia match
Brisbane, Jan.26: Under fire Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been selected to play for Queensland in their match against Western Australia at the Gabba later this week.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Symonds will bat at number four in a match that is being seen as his one and only chance to prove his fitness and form before the selectors sit down to name their Australian squad for next month's three-Test tour of South Africa.
Despite the high stakes of the Shield match, the Queensland selectors aren't about to make any concessions for Symonds, who has struggled up the order early this season.
The swashbuckling Test No.6 failed in his four bats at No.4 for the Bulls at the seam-friendly Gabba, scoring 5, 5, 26, 0 as he was exposed to the swinging new ball.
Despite the run of outs he was still recalled to the Australian team for the first Test of the summer against NZ after completing his Cricket Australia rehabilitation program, which followed his "gone fishing" axing.
Skipper Ricky Ponting again wants Symonds back for the South African tour if he is fit but his most recent drama, labelling New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum as a "lump of s___" on FM radio, has added to the doubt surrounding his tenuous position.
Cricket Australia is expected to charge the dreadlocked Queenslander with a code of conduct breach as soon as Tuesday but he's expected to cop a fine rather than suspension.
Queensland chief selector Ray Phillips acknowledged Symonds had spluttered high up the order against the swinging ball, and the in-form Lee Carseldine presented as a strong option at No.4.
But both Phillips and coach Trevor Barsby said Symonds would stay at second drop with Carseldine, who averaged 100 in the Twenty20 competition, at No.5.
"We're still not sure if he is going to play. We haven't heard anything so it's business as usual," Phillips said.
Barsby said Symonds, who will not bowl against WA, would have a "burning desire" to prove himself ready and able to return to Test cricket with a big score at the Gabba.
"It would be in Andrew's best interests to come out in this Shield game and score as many runs as he can to show he's still a dominant force," said the coach.
The second-placed Bulls have also recalled spearhead Ashley Noffke from a lingering back problem, while fellow paceman Chris Swan has shrugged off a groin injury.
Strapping left-arm bolter Scott Walter, 19, is set to make his first-class debut if Ryan Harris isn't released from the Australian one-day squad.
Queensland: Chris Simpson (captainRyan Broad, Nick Kruger, Martin Love, Andrew Symonds, Lee Carseldine, Nathan Reardon, Ashley Noffke, Chris Hartley, Ryan Harris, Chris Swan, Scott Walter (12th man to be named).
Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com