Clarke, Symonds in tussle for Test spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarke, Symonds in tussle for Test spot

By Darren Walton 30/11/2005 07:03:00 PM Comments (0)

Ricky Ponting has all but revealed Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds are in a two-way tussle for a place in Australia's middle-order for the first Test against South Africa in Perth next month.

Clarke's sizzling 201 not out for NSW on Tuesday against Queensland in the Pura Cup match at the SCG has thrust him back into the limelight after he was axed for the third Test against the West Indies in Adelaide.

And no-one is feeling the heat more than Symonds, who scored just 10 runs at an average of 5 in his two appearances in the baggy green this summer.

Ponting on Wednesday praised Clarke for his ability to shake off the disappointment of his dumping and amass such a massive total first bat back.

"It's just great to see his character to come out of it," the Australian captain said before his one-day team flew out to New Zealand for the three-match battle for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

"It's never easy. I've been there myself, having been dropped from the Test team a couple of times.

"To go back to your state and expect a lot of yourself and score runs straight away and put your hand up in front of the selectors - sometimes it doesn't work that way.

"He's done a terrific job and he's got to forget about that a little bit now and get to New Zealand and concentrate on his one-day game."

Much has been made of national selector David Boon's decision to fly back from Sydney to Tasmania before Clarke cracked his double ton, but Ponting said it wouldn't be a concern for the rare talent widely touted as a future Australian Test captain.

"I don't think that would worry Michael too much," Ponting said.

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