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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Realistic Symonds facing up to the axe

Brian Murgatroyd | February 17, 2003 13:24 IST

Andrew Symonds admits he would not be surprised to be dropped by Australia despite his brilliant unbeaten 143 against Pakistan in the world champions' World Cup Group A opener.

Symonds's maiden one-day international hundred ensured he retained his place for Saturday's nine-wicket win over India, despite the return to the side of batsmen Michael Bevan and Darren Lehmann.

The inclusion of that trio meant Australia faced Sourav Ganguly's side with only four frontline bowlers, but Symonds knows that if the selectors opt to include a fifth specialist with the ball then he might well be the man to miss out.

"The players who have come back in, Bevan and Lehmann, have done it many more times than I have so we will just have to wait and see," Symonds said.

"But at some stage we might have one too many batsmen in the side, someone is going to have to miss out and it would not be a surprise if it was me.

"For the time being, though, I am just glad to have contributed and it really does help your confidence," he added.

After his 125-ball innings at The Wanderers the next question mark hanging over Symonds is whether he can do it again, but the expectation he has created appears to sit easily with the laid-back Queenslander.

"I feel relieved I've shown people I can play good cricket," he said.

"I'm not feeling pressure any more, not like I was feeling it before, because I thought I was very lucky to be picked for this trip in the first place.

"Because of that, to reward the selectors and the people who have believed in me is a very good feeling."

For Symonds it was a genuine breakthrough effort as it was only the third time he had passed 50 in 55 one-day internationals. Figures like that beg the question why it took such an obviously gifted player so long to arrive.

"Rather than feeling pressure, it has all been about confidence I think," he said.

"It can be the slightest thing, the slightest hesitation. You want to hit the ball over the top and then you think at the last minute that maybe it's not right, you check the shot and end up chipping it to mid-off.

"That sort of thing has gone now and I hope I've got more of the killer instinct at contact with the ball.

"It's more 'right, I'm taking the bowler on here', maybe like it is for me at Queensland."


Symonds has also pinpointed two other factors in his emergence as a player of genuine international ability -- keeping it simple, and his captain Ricky Ponting.

"Ricky has been a great supporter of mine, we get on really well and have formed a bit of a bond," he said.

"The other day he really sparked me as whenever I played a good shot he came down the pitch to me and said 'next ball'."

"It meant that throughout my whole innings all I was worried about was the next ball I faced rather than admiring a shot or looking up at the scoreboard.

"Ricky gives me confidence because I know he is not worried about me but then he breeds confidence throughout the whole side."

For now, Symonds knows he will only be as good as his next innings and he is out to make that as memorable as his last one.

"I briefly reflected on things the other night when I got into bed and I thought: 'Gee, I didn't have a bad day the other day, that was pretty good.'

"I do feel more confident now, that was probably the thing that was missing over the last little while.

"I'm actually looking forward to my next bat now, I think it's important I do well in that or show intent to do well anyhow."

Symonds's and Australia's next opponents in Group A are the Netherlands in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Good!

Is he available to play on the Indian Team? I would like to see someone score atleast 25 consistantly under pressure and field extremely well ...

Posted by Sri

Sub: embarasment of riches

imagine this a player who has scored 145 not out can be dropped. that is the amount of talent the aussies have. a player in ...

Posted by prasanth


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