Ricky Ponting has backed Simon Katich to open the innings with the explosive Adam Gilchrist in next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in India. Though Gilchrist has been rested for the Malaysia tri-series, Ponting has indicated that Katich, who beat nearest rivals Phil Jaques, Mark Cosgrove and Matthew Hayden to a Champions Trophy berth, is favourite to partner him when he returns.
Katich has opened in one-day cricket on 29 occasions, including a run of eight consecutive games against South Africa and Bangladesh earlier this season in which he averaged 38.40 and 43.00. “(Last year) Simon probably put a bit more pressure on himself and went into his shell a little bit,” Ponting told reporters.”(But) the way he played in the VB (Australian tri) series, and a couple of times in South Africa as well, and then again in Bangladesh, I think we started to see the real Simon Katich come out. With him being a bit more confident with his position in the side now, I think we’re going to see a better player going forward.”
Ponting also felt that Glenn McGrath, who made a return to the side after taking time out to support his wife’s battle against breast cancer, had the ability to fit right back in. “He feels 25 again,” he said. “I think we’ll try and give Glenn as much bowling as we can (in Malaysia). Glenn’s one who’s thrived with lots of bowling over the years. We need to make sure we’re really monitoring his progress and try to get a fair bit of bowling into him. I’m sure he’ll play the first couple of games and we’ll just see how he pulls up after those.”
Australia open the tri-series against the West Indies on Tuesday and Australia could play five games in 13 days should they reach the final on September 24. “These opportunities are the ones we have to make the most of,” Ponting said. “The whole idea of this series is to try and give everyone a couple of games at least.(Chairman of selectors) Andrew Hilditch has already got mapped out possible teams for the upcoming games and when we get there we’ll let the guys know who’s playing when.”
Source: CricInfoMore on:Adam Gilchrist, Australia, Champions Trophy, Malaysia, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, September 10th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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