Media responsible for portraying as gladiatorial stoush: Symonds

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Melbourne, Dec 22 (UNI) Blaming the media for the blowing the verbal duel between him and Indian speedster Sreesanth out of proportion, all-rounder Andrew Symonds believes too much was made of the pair's run-ins earlier in India.

The burly Queenslander said, ''I think you blokes (the media) will miss him playing against me but I will play against whoever comes.'' The Kerala pacer has missed the Australian bus after suffering a shoulder injury prior to three match Test series against Pakistan.

But the 32-year-old Aussie believes that its the media which has blew it out of proportion.

''The media blew it up into some sort of gladiatorial stoush but it's not,'' he said.

Symonds was singled out when Australia toured India a couple of months ago, having a series of altercations against different Indian players, especially against pacer Sreesanth.

''He chose a very aggressive and vocal line over there (in India) and that's fine but he is not here so you won't get to see it,'' Symonds said.

Interestingly, Symonds may be one of the world's best one-day cricketers, but he readily admits that if it wasn't for his performances in the past two Boxing Day Tests then he would still be struggling to establish himself in the all-conquering Australian Test team.

Symonds, who has now played 15 Tests for Australia after waiting until nearly the age of 30 to make his debut, is counting down the days to his third Boxing Day Test - when Australia take on India in the first of four Tests, starting at the MCG on Wednesday.

''For me personally this is the most exciting and special Test an Aussie cricketer can play in,'' he said.

The 2005 ODI Player of the Year admits quire frankly that he is now feeling far more comfortable with his place in Australia's Test line-up.

''I am a bit easier to live with now,'' he said.

''Leading up to (this year's) Brisbane Test I was on edge, being the start of the summer, and I was definitely on edge before this Test last year purely through nerves in not being sure whether I would hold my spot or not.

''I am still in that boat a bit but I have got a better grip of the whole circumstances now so I am definitely a lot more relaxed leading into this Test,'' he added.

UNI

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