Symonds retains positive attitude

MELBOURNE ? Results rather than attitudes are what preserve Test careers, but at least Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has maintained an impressive outlook despite his floundering start, his captain says. Symonds enters today's Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG in desperate need of success, having averaged 12.63 with the bat and 85 with the ball in his first five matches.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is adamant Symonds knows exactly what he has to do in the second Test and can turn things around with a couple of his customary free-flowing shots with the bat.

What has impressed Ponting is the fact he has not had to console Symonds despite his limited contributions, which include a top score of 25 and just two wickets. "He's not one who worries too much about his game,'' Ponting said of Symonds, who has an excellent record as a one-day player. "He obviously wants to be successful, but if he fails it doesn't worry him. He gets out there in the nets and tries to improve next time.

"He's been terrific around the guys, he's one of those really neutral sort of guys. "You wouldn't know if he'd had a good day or a bad day, he has the same sort of personality around the guys, and that's one of his strong points.

"We hope that he gets out there and shows everybody how good a player he's going to be at Test level.'' Ponting has long been a supporter of Symonds, having famously urged selectors to pick him in the 2003 World Cup squad despite him having scored just two half-centuries in his first 54 one-day internationals.

Symonds' unbeaten 143 in the opening match of that tournament re-launched his international career.

But now he is desperate for a star turn in the Test arena if he hopes to feature in Australia's Test series in South Africa in March.

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