Pakistan v Australia, one-day series 2009 April 26, 2009

Relieved Symonds looks to the future

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds has gained confidence from his breakthrough half-century against Pakistan after fearing the series might be his last as an international. Symonds was recalled after a couple of suspensions for off-field behaviour for the contest in the United Arab Emirates and knew that if he didn't perform he would be on the way out.

"I did feel like that," he told AAP after his double of 58 and 2 for 12 helped Australia to a series-levelling six-wicket victory on Friday. "In the first game I got out and I thought: 'Gee, there's one down, I've got possibly five to go.' That's how I was looking at it."

After knee surgery following the Boxing Day Test, Symonds struggled on his return for Queensland and was left out of the South Africa tour to continue his rehabilitation from personal issues that had hampered him since his gone fishing episode last year. "I'd been away for quite a while and that was probably the main thing that was going through my head the last little bit, whether I could find the way that I played successfully when I was in the side," he said. "It was a very important innings for me.

"I'm glad that it happened now and not in two games' time or the last game, because this has given me a bit of confidence going into the next few games that I play. There's a bit of relief there and believing that I can do what I used to do is a great thing to feel again."

If he can continue to show improvement - the third game is in Abu Dhabi on Monday - Symonds will be a certainty for the World Twenty20 and may come into consideration for the Ashes. Michael Clarke said Symonds was still a key member of the side.

"Without a doubt Symo in form is brilliant in any team," Clarke said. "Obviously his batting's a given, when he's scoring runs he's brilliant to have because he can win a game, no matter what form of the game, on his own. His fielding and bowling speaks for itself as well."