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December 9, 2005
Matthew Hayden, the Australia opener, has backed his team-mate Andrew Symonds to replicate his terrific one-day form in the Test series against South Africa, beginning at Perth on December 16.
Symonds, 30, was named in the squad for the Perth Test. He smashed a match-winning 156 to set up a thrilling two-run win over New Zealand in the second match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy at Wellington two days ago. However, when it comes to the longer version of the game, Symonds averages a meager 10.50 from four Tests. His form in the recent Test series against the West Indies left much to be desired, and he struggled to nine from 51 balls in the final Test at Adelaide.
Hayden, though, remained upbeat on Symond's ability to perform. "I don't think he has to do anything different in Test cricket," Hayden told ABC Sport. "He has to lay a foundation, which we saw in Adelaide the other day. Unfortunately he just cut off at that point and we didn't see the Andrew Symonds that we all love."
Meanwhile, Michael Clarke, who was not included in the squad for the Perth Test, has been backed by Shane Warne, Australia's star legspinner. "Michael Clarke, whether he's back in Perth or whenever that may be, he'll be ready," he said. "He's another quality player who we've seen what he's capable of doing. I think we all enjoy watching him play too.
"I think his enthusiasm rubs off on all of us," he added. "Look, Michael Clarke will be back, there's no doubt about that. It's just a matter of when."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa