Melbourne, Nov.14 : Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting today endorsed the recall of Andrew Symonds to the national team, describing him as an invaluable asset.
"He's a great team man and a great player. He's someone we look forward to having around," the Courier Mail quoted Ponting, as saying.
Launching his sixth book of the series Captain's Diary in Sydney, Ponting's praise of Symonds came just a couple of hours before the all rounder was named in the Test team to play New Zealand.
Ponting said he had been on the telephone to Symonds of late and was confident of his rehabilitation.
"I've spoken to him quite a few times over the past few weeks and he just wants to get back into playing cricket for Australia again," Ponting said. "He said that he's been finding the first-class scene a little more difficult than he might have expected. That probably means he missed being in the Australian set-up."
Ponting said fast bowler Brett Lee was still in doubt for the first Test against New Zealand and had gone to hospital on Tuesday night for blood tests.