Buchanan and Healy differ on sending Symonds to India


Melbourne : Former Australian coach John Buchanan believes that Andrew Symonds should be sent an sos to rescue the side from its Test crisis in India, but former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy is opposed to the idea.

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Australia had to bear the humiliation of a 320-run beating in Mohali Tuesday. It was their heaviest defeat since the world champions lost by 10 wickets to the West Indies in Jamaica in 1999, and their heaviest in terms of runs since a 343-run thrashing at the hands of the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados, in 1991.

The Queenslander all-rounder, who is cooling his heels at home after his fishing fiasco, is being sorely missed as he had become a bugbear for the Indians both on and off the field in the last one year.

Buchanan believes Symonds would “be on the first plane to India” if he was summoned by selectors.

“There is no question that the Australian side is missing his playing ability and his character,” Buchanan was quoted as saying in Courier Mail.

“With what has happened in recent times, Andrew is the best person to judge when he is ready to come back. But if somebody went and asked him if he would go over, I couldn’t see him saying no. I reckon he would be over there like a shot.”

“I think the Australian team would welcome him back with open arms.”

Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy, however, feels Symonds should continue playing the Sheffield Shield cricket to push his case for Australia selection this summer.

“There is nothing to be gained by sending him over to India now,” Healy said.

“I’d just let him be and score plenty of runs in Shield cricket so he is ripe for the picking for the first Test this summer.”

Former Queensland captain Jimmy Maher also said Australia should consider calling the allrounder back for the last two matches in India.

Maher insists he is the man to help save a troubled Test side.

“I really think Australia need him in India. I’d be getting him in the Test side as soon as possible,” Maher said.

“Symo is a player for a crisis and I’d say, 1-0 down in a four-Test series, Australia is in crisis. He can turn a game in the space of an hour with his batting. And his spin bowling would also be very important on turning Indian pitches.”

After Symonds’ Darwin episode, Cricket Australia said he must complete a confidential rehab process, including seeing a sports psychologist, before being considered for national selection.

CA chief executive James Sutherland has already ruled out the possibility of Symonds replacing the injured Phil Jaques on tour insisting that the all-rounder firstly needed to complete a “staged process.”