Symonds has to score in Sheffield Shield final to ensure Ashes berth

March 11th, 2009 - 1:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne (Australia), Mar.11 (ANI): Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds will have one last chance to stake his Ashes claim when Queensland take on Victoria in this years Sheffield Shield final.
Fox Sports quoted Queensland Bulls teammate Martin Love as saying: “He (Symonds) probably doesn”t have the runs on the board at this stage to warrant (Ashes) selection but runs in a final always counts.
“This is probably his last chance to get some big runs on the board,” Love added.
But the veteran batsman said individual honours would not be the Bulls” motivation ahead of this week’’s Sheffield Shield final against Victoria.
Love made a point of stressing the Bulls would “play as a team” at Melbourne’’s Junction Oval from Friday, in a thinly veiled swipe at a Bushrangers outfit trying to finally ditch the “chokers” tag.
If anyone is going to get sidetracked by personal milestones this week it would be Love.
After announcing he would retire at the end of the season, the 34-year-old is in the rare position of beginning and ending his first class career in a Shield final.
Ahead of August’’s Ashes tour, Symonds has launched a charm offensive to show he is a new man.
He even has a new look after having his trademark dreadlocks cut for charity on live breakfast TV on Tuesday morning.
Victoria only need to draw the final to claim their first Shield title in five years and are expected to produce a Junction Oval wicket resembling a road.
That will place even more emphasis on Queensland’’s “match-winners” like Symonds, according to Love.
“It does come down to those guys. We”ve got him and Shane Watson with the bat they are the guys who can turn a game in a session,” he said.
“We probably have more of those (match-winners) than they do.”
Then there’’s Victoria’’s well-documented finals record.
They have made eight from a possible nine finals over the last three seasons but have only reaped two titles both Twenty20 trophies.
And Queensland will be quick to remind the Bushrangers of their recent head-to-head record in Shield deciders 3-1 to the Bulls.
“We”ve got a good record in finals and Victorians don”t and we will certainly let them know about their record under pressure and hopefully that will make a difference for us,” Love said.
Love rammed home his point when asked why Victoria’’s recent finals record was so poor.
“I don”t know but we certainly go out there and play as a team, always give 100 per cent and never give up,” he said.
The Bulls named a 15-strong squad for the final, recalling leg-spinner Daniel Doran, pacer Scott Walter and opener Nick Kruger.
They will monitor quick Chris Swan (groin) and batsman Lee Carseldine (back) before finalising their 12 on Thursday. (ANI)

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