Melbourne, Nov.12 : Australian opener Mathew Hayden has said that out-of-favour all-rounder Andrew Symonds is needed in the national team to ensure they don't cop it against New Zealand as did against India in India.
"I'm going to be incredibly biased and say I want to have Symo back in the side ASAP. I think as we've said all along, an Australian side with Andrew Symonds in it is a better side. He's a great team man and one I love, and have missed, playing cricket with for the last eight weeks. If Roy feels he's in a position to play cricket for Australia, which I'm certain he is, then good luck. It will be open arms from this dressing room door I tell you,'' Fox Sports quoted Hayden, as saying.
Symonds, who makes his national comeback in Friday night's Twenty20 exhibition match against the ACA All Stars, may also be ushered back into the Test squad as early as Thursday.
Australia's selection panel are preparing to choose their team for next week's first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, with the swashbuckling all-rounder in the mix if the selectors follow a Gabba trend of picking a 13-man squad.
Symonds match-winning talents and attacking flair are viewed as priceless assets after the 2-0 series defeat in India.
Symonds hasn't been in Australian colours since being sent home from the Top End one-day series against Bangladesh in early September after missing a team meeting to go fishing.
It was the last in a number of minor incidents that disturbed team management and teammates, forcing him to undertake a Cricket Australia rehabilitation program.
With the program completed this week, Symonds was selected in the Australian side to meet the Adam Gilchrist-led All Stars at the Gabba.
But with reports Symonds gained his recall only after James Hopes was ruled out with a chest injury, and he's averaging just 13.33 with the bat in shield cricket, he's behind the eight-ball for a Test restart in Brisbane.
Stuart Clark, dropped for the last Test in India to accommodate off-spinner Jason Krejza, is set to replace leg-spinning all-rounder Cameron White.