Brisbane: Australia"s star all-rounder Andrew Symonds has said that when he returns to first-class cricket next week, his focus will be on becoming a specialist batsman. He also said that he would like turn out in the same capacity for Australia.
According to Fox Sports, Symonds will turn out for his club side Gold Coast on Saturday in the first step on the road back to the Australian side.
Barring a setback, the 33-year-old will then return to the first-class arena for Queensland in a Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia starting at the Gabba next Friday.
The Shield clash will basically be a fitness test in match conditions, with the Australian squad for the Test series in South Africa to be chosen on February 5.
Symonds will not bowl for Queensland next week and is unlikely to be seen at the bowling crease when he returns for Australia, most likely in the one-day series against New Zealand next month.
There is no suggestion that Symonds wants to give up being an all-rounder, although Australian team sources say he is likely to be deployed as a specialist batsman until his knee returns to full fitness.
The good news for Australia is that Symonds has recovered quickly from surgery on the degenerative knee injury that made him a virtual passenger in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.