Playing injured Symonds in Boxing Day Test branded blunder of the year

December 29th, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 29 (ANI): To play an injured Andrew Symonds in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa shows Australias desperation that they could not afford to lose the series, but nothing is going on the right track for Ricky Pontings team.

Symonds is arguably the most naturally athletic cricketer that Australia has ever produced and probably the best fieldsman, but injury to his right knee has basically reduced him to a mere spectator on the field, FOX Sports reported.

How the 33-year-old was passed fit to play in Australias most important Test of the year is beyond belief.

The pain in Symonds right knee became so bad before the Boxing Day that he was forced to see a Melbourne specialist, who told him he might require surgery.

It was so bad that skipper Ricky Ponting conceded that Symonds would not be able to bowl his canny medium-pace.

That means Symonds was not picked as an all-rounder. He was selected as a specialist No.6 batsman and one that could hardly move in the field.

Australia hoped that Symonds could be hidden in the field and, even on one leg, could be the match-winning batting destroyer they craved, but the plan backfired horribly when paceman Brett Lee also went down injured and could not bowl.

The fading world champions were suddenly left with only two frontline quicks - and just about nothing else to supplement the spin of Nathan Hauritz and Michael Clarke, Fox Sports reported. (ANI)

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