Andrew Symonds' likely absence may leave Australia short on experience when they tour India next month, but at the same time it might ease tension in the high-profile series, reckons India coach Gary Kirsten.
Symonds has had a stormy relation with both the Indian players and the crowds. Booed and barracked in India, he also figured prominently with Harbhajan Singh in the Sydney racism row last summer.
Nursing a hurt ego after Cricket Australia downgraded the racism charges against Harbhajan, Symonds is cooling his heels after he was sent back home for preferring a fishing trip to a compulsory team meeting.
Though the volatile all-rounder is likely to miss the India series, Kirsten feels it might help in reducing the tension that of late surrounds an Indo-Australian series.
"There is a lot of hype around him and the quality of player that he is, and also I gather there is a lot of tension around from what happened in the last series," Kirsten was quoted as saying by The Age.
"To not have him around...Does that alleviate it? Does it make it better? I don't know the answer. But I don't think it takes the gloss off the Test series," said the South African.
"One thing we must always be aware of is the game is bigger than the individual," Kirsten added.
Should Symonds miss the tour, Kirsten said, Australia would have to draft in inexperienced players and India would do everything to capitalise on that.