Symonds makes a comeback in Test side, Clarke down with fever

November 13th, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 13 (IANS) Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds made a comeback to international cricket after he was picked up by the national selectors in the 13-man squad for the first 3 Mobile Test against New Zealand starting Nov 20 at the Gabba in Brisbane. Symonds returns to the side after missing the four-Test tour of India as he was put on mental rehabilitation by Cricket Australia (CA) following the ‘gone fishing controversy’ during the one-day series against Bangladesh. Symonds skipped a compulsory team meeting for fishing during the one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin in September.

Selection committee chairman Andrew Hilditch said Symonds deserved to return after completing a prescribed rehabilitation program despite recent poor form in domestic cricket.

“The National Selection Panel has been advised by Cricket Australia that Andrew Symonds has successfully completed the prescribed plan to enable us consider him for selection for the Australian cricket team.

“Over the previous 12 months, Andrew has cemented his place in the Test team with outstanding performances at home and in the West Indies, and he now deserves to come back into the Australian squad,” said Hilditch.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke will play the first Test if he recovers from a bout of virus fever. Clarke, however, will miss the Emirates All Star Twenty20 match at the Gabba due to illness.

CA’s doctor Trefor James hoped that Clarke would recover for the Test.

“His condition will continue to be monitored and we are confident he will recover in time to be available for selection in the first Test match against New Zealand at the Gabba next week,” he said.

Peter Siddle and Jason Krezja, who made their debut in the India tour, also retained their side for the first Test. Cameron White, who played all the Tests in India, missed out this time.

“Jason Krejza richly deserves to retain his place in the side after such an outstanding debut in Nagpur. It will now be a significant challenge for him to adapt back to Australian conditions and continue his development,” Hilditch said.

“Obviously it will be disappointing for Cameron White to miss selection after playing four Tests in India. With our return to Australia however, only one specialist spinner has been named in the squad.”

The Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson

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