DateLine: 19th February 2007
A hero of the masses Andrew Symonds attracts attention chiefly because of the unabashed manner in which he hits sixes. He is the squad’s demolition man. It was Symonds who kick-started his team’s defence in the 2003 World Cup with a spectacular unbeaten 143 off 125 balls against Pakistan. His career strike rate is in the early 90s and he plays the crucial role in the middle order giving the scoring rate an impetus or rescuing the side with a brand of counter attack all his own. The tall and compactly built Symonds loves hitting the ball hard and high and on his day can tear any attack to shreds but there is a feeling that he has squandered away chances galore by being over adventurous. A brilliant fielder and a bowler who can send down medium pace or off breaks the Birmingham born Symonds is expected to be a key member of the Aussie side as they prepare to defend their World Cup title in the Caribbean. It is little wonder that he holds the world record for most number of sixes in a first class innings and match - 16 and 20 - while clouting an unbeaten 254 and 76 for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan in 1995. He has been an integral part of the Aussie one-day squad for almost a decade but perhaps not surprisingly he has hardly been able to secure his place in the Test team.