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Three of the best Andrew Symonds moments in international cricket

Andrew Symonds was known for his all-round brilliance on the field, and for his exuberant lifestyle off it
Andrew Symonds was known for his all-round brilliance on the field, and for his exuberant lifestyle off it
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Amritanshu Singh Airy

Former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds tragically died in a car crash on Sunday, May 15. The news of his sudden demise sent shock waves across the cricketing fraternity, especially as it came so soon after the passing of Shane Warne.

Known for his all-round brilliance on the cricket field, and for his exuberant lifestyle off it, Symonds was a fan favorite during and after his playing days. He was one of the pillars of the great Australian team of 2000s. His long locks and trademark sunscreen on his lips made him one of the most popular and recognizable faces across the cricketing arena.

Affectionately called 'Roy' by his teammates, Symonds always put the team before himself. The fact that he never cared for personal milestones is a quality he shared with most other great match-winners of his era. Today, as we mourn the departure of a great cricketer and an even greater human being, let us take a look at 3 of the greatest moments of Andrew Symonds in international cricket:

1- 72 & 3/50 vs South Africa, MCG, Dec 2005

Shocking news to wake up to here in India. Rest in peace my dear friend. Such tragic news 💔🥲 https://t.co/pBWEqVO6IY

By this point in time, Symonds was already a World Cup winner and had cemented his reputation as one of the best players in limited-overs cricket. But his Test credentials were still under scrutiny. After the first drawn Test at the WACA against the touring Proteas, Australia needed to win the second to assert their superiority at home.

At the MCG, Australia batted first after winning the toss. Symonds' reputation as a budding Test star took a further hit when he was dismissed off the first ball in the first innings by Andre Nel. When it started to look like the end of the tunnel for Andrew Symonds, he roared back with three wickets in South Africa's first innings.

With a slender lead of 44, Australia were not out of the woods yet. When Michael Hussey was dismissed with the score at 193/4, Symonds walked in. Along with Matthew Hayden (his great mate off the field), he scored an unbelievable counter-attacking 72 off only 54 balls, with five fours and six towering sixes. Australia eventually went on to win the match comfortably. Andrew Symonds had arrived.

2- 162* vs India, SCG, Jan 2008

Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy. 💔😞

By now, Andrew Symonds was a two-time World Cup winner, with a second successive World Cup in 2007. His reputation in Test cricket was also now a settled matter. This match is more remembered for other things but we will get to them some other day.

Australia were looking to win their 16th successive Test match to equal the world record created by them previously. But it was never going to be easy against India, the team that had halted their record the previous time. Australia were reeling at 6/134 when Adam Gilchrist was dismissed and the Australian tail was exposed. But Roy then played a rearguard innings for the ages.

In partnership with Brad Hogg and then Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds smashed his highest Test score of 162* to take Australia to a mammoth first innings total of 463. Not to be content with this, he scored 61 in the second innings to take the match beyond India. Atrocious umpiring, among other things, contributed to an Australian victory in the end. And for his 223 runs in the match, Andrew Symonds was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match.

3- 156 vs England, MCG, Dec 2006

Andrew Symond’s demise is shocking news for all of us to absorb. Not only was he a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-wire on the field. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Mumbai Indians. May his soul rest in peace, condolences to his family & friends. https://t.co/QnUTEZBbsD

As an Aussie, there is nothing bigger in cricket than the Ashes. Not even the World Cup. The surest way to write your name into Australian cricket legends is to contribute to an Ashes win. The Australian ego was still bruised after the the urn was given away to England after an interval of 18 long years in 2005. The Aussies made their intentions clear right from the start.

The urn was gained back after the first three Tests but Australia were still not done. They wanted to drive the dagger right through the English heart and would not stop at anything less than 5-0. The fourth match (Boxing Day Test) at the MCG saw England being bundled out for 159 in their first innings. But when Michael Clarke was dismissed with the scoreboard reading 5/84, Australia found themselves in dire straits.

In strode Andrew Symonds and, once again in combination with his old pal Matthew Hayden, shattered any fight still left in England. While Hayden scored 153, Andrew Symonds smashed 156 to register his first Test century. This is one of only two centuries scored by Symonds, the second one already discussed earlier. Australia scored 419 in their first innings and won comfortably in the end with an innings to spare.


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Q. Have Australia produced an all-rounder of the quality of Symonds after his retirement?

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Edited by Steffi
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