Symonds

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Opener Virender Sehwag has asserted that Andrew Symonds' absence for the upcoming tour of India will go in favour of the hosts and added that the lack of quality spinners in their ranks will further deepen the problems for World Champions in the Test series that begins from October 9.

''Symonds is an important member of the Australian side. He is a sort of player who can change the game at any moment and being rivals we (India) are happy about it,'' Sehwag told mediapersons here today.

The dashing opener, however, said the kind of standards that Symonds has set up over the years, will definitely reduce the amount of competitiveness to some extent if he is not touring.

''Yes, you do want want to play with and against the best.

You want to see a competitive player playing against you but if he has not been included in the team we don't have a problem either,'' he added.

Sehwag, who was chosen to be a part of the ICC's World Test team, made it clear that the Indians will have a tough job at hands when they take on Australia.

He added that a keen contest is on the cards as the visitors will be without a quality spinner which always make the job difficult particularly in the Indian sub-continent but still the Australian team can never be taken lightly.

''Australia is still the number one side in the world and takes a lot from you to beat them. But we have been playing well for a long time so hopefully, we can beat them here.

''Shane Warne has served them well for many years. And this time, it will be difficult for Australia as they do not have any quality spinner in the side which could pose a real problem for them,'' Sehwag asserted.

He hoped that the upcoming tour of Australia will not reignite the memories of the series when India toured Down Under.

''Hopefully, things that happened in the last series down under will not be repeated this time. We would prefer to beat them in the game and not through our words,'' he said.

Asked about the fitness problems that the Australian side has been going through lately, the 29-year-old Sehwag said by the time the Indian tour begins the World Champions should be ready with all their worries put aside.

Currently, Australia is facing a few fitness problems with captain Ricky Ponting, opener Mathew Hayden and pacer Brett Lee not in the best of shapes while Symonds has already been ruled out of the squad for the Indian tour.

''Australia will be ready by the time the Test series begins.

A few niggles here and there will get sorted out and I am sure they will be ready for the Indian challenge.

The Delhi captain further added that his side is all geared up for the Irani Trophy match against the Rest of India that is scheduled to begin on September 24.

''We have a good bunch of boys and we will put our best foot forward. Pradeep Sangwan, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir have all done well for the team,'' he said.

He pointed out that the Delhi team has been doing good for a long time now and said in near future he is looking to see 6-7 players making it to the national side.

Sehwag also expressed his happiness over his inclusion in the ICC World Test team and said, ''it was a great honour to represent your country in that elite list of players.'' UNI RAR RKM UCS1752

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