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Symonds tips tough tournament

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has conceded winning next month's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa could be a more challenging proposition than success at the 50-over World Cup.

Australia dominated the recent 50-over tournament, but the electrifying Symonds declared the shortened version of the condensed game was likely to be an even tougher affair.

"Probably," admitted Symonds, who also revealed the Australians are yet to discuss how they will approach the tournament. "I've always said that the shorter the game the easier it is for the lesser sides to beat you. In 20 overs anything can happen."

After a long break to recharge the batteries, Symonds has spent the past few weeks taking part in conditioning training with NRL side Brisbane Broncos.

Reports have suggested Australia's selectors have asked him to concentrate on his off spin in the wake of Shane Warne's international retirement at the end of the Ashes series victory over England. But he maintained he rarely alters his build-up to major competitions regardless of the format.

"I practice my skills the same for all forms," said Symonds. As long as I've got my basics all up to scratch and they're all firing I tend to be able to change for the different formats. I try not to complicate things too much."

Critics of the format have suggested younger players be shielded from playing too many Twenty20 matches for fear of developing traits unconducive to Test cricket.

However, Symonds' fellow squad member Mitchell Johnson told reporters that playing Twenty20 cricket can encourage skills for the 50-overs game.

"It's all about execution - executing each ball," the 25-year-old Johnson said. "But I think there is a little bit of luck involved as well. You can bowl your best ball and still get hit for six or four (but) you've still got to stick to your own plans."

The 15-man touring party to head to South Africa under new coach Tim Nielsen is almost identical to the all-conquering outfit that dominated in the Caribbean.

Brett Lee, who missed the series through injury, replaces the retired Glenn McGrath. The players will come together at the end August on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to begin preparations for the tournament.

source - sportal.com.au
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