India in Australia, 2007-08 January 31, 2008

The great paradox of Symonds

Andrew Symonds has earned the reputation of being one of the hardest members of the Australian team as well as the most complex, writes Peter Lalor of the Australian

Andrew Symonds has earned the reputation of being one of the hardest members of the Australian team as well as the most complex, writes Peter Lalor of the Australian.

He may have won an Alliance Francaise poetry award in 1988, but he is not a cultured man. He is abrasive, he plays hard and he is his own worst enemy, but he deserves better treatment and more sympathy than he has been shown.

Justin Langer comes out in strong support of his former team-mate and explains why people should stop criticising the way Australian teams play cricket.

I've played against Roy when he's with Queensland and it's like playing against your worst enemy. He plays hard, I admire that, I respect that, that's the way he plays the game.The irony is that the bloke who makes his team-mates laugh the most makes the people who don't know him snarl the most.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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