Injured Symonds increases Pontings worries

December 24th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 24 (ANI): Captain Ricky Ponting is unsure whether all rounder Andrew Symonds, struggling with a knee injury, would be fit enough to play the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Already 1-0 down against South Africa, Australia faces the prospect of making up to three changes for the second Test if Symonds fails to prove his fitness, The Australian reported.

Fellow all-rounder Shane Watson would play if Symonds condition does not improve, while fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus is putting pressure on Peter Siddle and off-spinner Jason Krejza has already been dropped to make way for Nathan Hauritz.

Symonds was able to deliver just two overs of medium pace in South Africas first innings in Perth before his knee injury prevented him from bowling again in the match.

Its really a day-to-day thing with him at the moment. He went into the game (first Test) OK and bowled in the first innings but couldnt really bowl after his second over. He got through his second over and that was it, Ponting said.

He got better on days three and four and limped about on day five. Its one of those things that comes and goes a little bit, he added.

Watsons inclusion for Symonds would strengthen Australias bowling, the paper said.

However, it would severely weaken the batting. Symonds averaged 58 or better in his past four series leading into this summer and scored 57 and 37 in Perth despite playing under duress.

Watson has a batting average of less than 20 from eight Tests, although he showed glimpses of promise on the recent tour of India.

Ponting claimed that Symonds batted without apparent discomfort in the nets yesterday, but much would depend on how he felt when he woke this morning.

Asked if Symonds would play, Ponting replied: I don”t know. He wasnt hindered at all with his batting in the second innings and that was when it was at its worst. He can definitely bat for us and run between the wickets. He hobbled about a bit on the last day but nothing that was too alarming. (ANI)

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