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Symonds picked for Boxing Day Test

cricket Updated: Dec 25, 2008 14:07 IST
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Even as the Australia decided to go into the Melbourne cricket Test with a not-fully-fit Andrew Symonds, the man who was to replace him, Shane Watson, gave a scare by clutching his back and leaving the practice session on Thursday.

With the series effectively going on the line at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, Australia are likely to bank on having Symonds in the side for his matchwinning abilities with the bat even if he is unable to bowl freely.

The Australian team management says the right knee injury that has been troubling Symonds for months is more of a niggling problem although it may need clean-up surgery at the end of the season, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The dreadlocked allrounder appeared hesitant on his knee at training although he completed a full training session which was enough to convince medical staff to give him the all-clear to play.

Symonds' injury is far more of a worry, with tests by a Melbourne specialist this week unable to establish what has been giving him constant soreness and hampering his movement. The problem may be cartilage near the back of his knee although that remains unclear.

Symonds' fishing mate Matthew Hayden indicated that Australia were desperate that the allrounder played.

"Symmo in our side just adds a great characteristic and flavour to our side. We really want him to get up," Hayden was quoted as saying by the daily.