The Telegraph
Friday , April 2 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Must know how much the body can take: Symmo

Calcutta: Some regard Andrew Symonds as the enfant terrible of Australian cricket, but nobody disputes the fact that, in limited overs cricket, he’s an outstanding all-rounder.

A match-winner, on most days.

Symonds’s problems with the Establishment have resulted in him being out of international cricket for almost a year now. Sadly, there seems no light at the end of the tunnel.

In the city for the Deccan Chargers versus Kolkata Knight Riders IPL clash, Symonds, who has featured in 26 Tests and 198 ODIs, spoke to The Telegraph at The ITC Sonar on Thursday morning.

The following is the 34-year-old Symonds’s choice of top all-rounders (alphabetically):

WASIM AKRAM: A bowling-all-rounder... Easily the best bowler I faced... Then, on his day, could get some very useful runs... He’s a friend and it was nice catching up with him at the hotel... We’ve had some good times.

In 104 Tests, Akram finished with 414 wickets and 2,898 runs; in 356 ODIs, he ended with 502 wickets and 3,717 runs.

DWAYNE BRAVO: He’s improved a lot, has worked on his game... I remember when I first played against him, he wasn’t anywhere close to being the player he’s now... He’s been keen to learn, quite hungry to get better... Also, fields very well.

Bravo has 2,009 runs and 81 wickets in 34 Tests; in 102 ODIs, he has totalled 1,541 runs and taken 121 wickets.

ANDREW FLINTOFF: Had a couple of great years and was the star of England’s 2005 Ashes win... I like the way he plays... He’s a bit of a free spirit... He can lift a team and the players respond to him... He has shown qualities which few possess.

In 79 Tests, Flintoff finished with 3,845 runs and 226 wickets; in 141 ODIs, he has totalled 3,394 runs and taken 169 wickets.

ADAM GILCHRIST: A ’keeper-all-rounder... He’s changed wicket-keeping and the way that position is looked at... Now, ’keepers must be able to score hundreds... My views, though, are old-fashioned... The best wicket-keeper should play, even if he can’t contribute with the bat and has to be sent at No.11.

In 96 Tests, Gilchrist finished with 5,570 runs and 416 dismissals; in 287 ODIs, he ended with 9,619 runs and 472 dismissals.

DANIEL VETTORI: He’s been the finest left-arm spinner for some years now... Because he has an unorthodox style of batting, it’s difficult to bowl to a plan. He’s got (five) Test hundreds and has been around for a number of years (13), so the longevity bit comes in, too.

In exactly 100 Tests, Vettori has 325 wickets and 3,962 runs; in 255 ODIs, he has taken 268 wickets and totalled 1,895 runs.

Finally, his tips for young all-rounders

(Grins) Being an all-rounder is physically demanding... If you’re a batting-all-rounder, then make sure you’re at the top as a batsman... If you’re a bowling-all-rounder, be outstanding in your craft... It’s important to know just how much of a workload your body can take... When to train and when not to...

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