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Symonds dropped for India tour

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2008 11:50 IST
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All-rounder Andrew Symonds has been dropped from Australia's cricket squad for their tour of India and replaced by Queensland team mate Shane Watson.

Symonds was left out of the one-day side for the three-match series with Bangladesh in Darwin earlier this month after he missed a team meeting and went fishing instead.

"Andrew Symonds was stood down for disciplinary reasons in Darwin and is now going through a process...designed to give him time to assess whether he is fully committed to all of the things needed for a cricketer to be a member of the world's number one team," chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.

"In the meantime, our advice was that he was not available to be considered for selection this time."

The 33-year-old had been in trouble with team officials previously and was almost sent home from the 2005 Ashes tour of England when he turned up for a match still under the influence of alcohol.

Captain Ricky Ponting (wrist) and opening batsman Matthew Hayden (Achille's tendon) have been included after they returned home injured from the tour of the West Indies.

Ponting had surgery, while Hayden underwent an extensive rehabilitation programme, with both missing the recent one-day series in Darwin.

Leg-spinner Bryce McGain, who is 36, and off-spinner Jason Krejza have been picked to replace the now retired Stuart MacGill as the frontline spinners on the four-test tour of the country, whose pitches traditionally favour spin.

"We have selected two internationally inexperienced spinners but we feel they are the right kind of spinners for the conditions and have faith they will both do very well when given opportunities," said Hilditch.

"Bryce McGain was the standout leg-spinner at interstate level last year and we think he is really well suited to the Indian conditions and bowling plans.

"His story is a great example of how those who perform at interstate level will be rewarded."

Fast bowlers Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle have also been included to boost the pace attack that will be led by Brett Lee, who missed the Bangladesh series for personal reasons following the breakdown of his marriage.

The first test begins in Bangalore on October 9, followed by matches in Mohali (October 17-21), Delhi (October 29-November 2) and in Nagpur (November 5-9).