Clarke friends again with Symonds

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Brisbane, Nov 18 (UNI) Welcoming Andrew Symonds back into the Australian squad, vice-captain Michael Clarke said he has resolved his differences with the troubled all-rounder.

Symonds was left out of the team for the difficult tour to India after the 'gone fishing' saga before the one-day series against Bangladesh at Darwin. Clarke, who was part of the leadership group that took the decision, said he did not want his personal bond with Symonds to be affected.

''It's probably been exactly how it was before he left which has been great for both of us. It is good to have him back,'' Clarke told a press conference after a practice session at the Gabba.

''At the time when the decision was made from the leadership group ... I definitely didn't want it to affect our friendship,'' he added.

''It certainly wasn't a personal decision. It didn't affect my feelings about Symmo. It was just what we thought was in the best interests of the team and Andrew.'' The dimunitive middle-order batsman admitted that he admired Symonds for the way in which the sturdy all-rounder put all his troubles behind to make a comeback into the Australian side.

''One thing Symmo has done was he looked at himself in the mirror and worked out for himself what he needed to do to get back into this team,'' Clarke said. ''That was a big priority for the leadership group and the team. It's great to see him do that.

''Whatever issues Andrew has had, he's spent time trying to get help or fix those issues. It seems like he is in a great place at the moment.'' Symonds is expected to replace either Shane Watson or Jason Kretja in the starting XI that will take on New Zealand in the first Test which starts at the Gabba on Thursday.


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