Opener still 'vulnerable' after poor Test treatment October 17, 2006

Katich deserves another go - Waugh

Cricinfo staff

Simon Katich has been encouraged to "let things rip" by Steve Waugh © Getty Images

Steve Waugh wants Simon Katich to get one more chance to secure his international future as an opening batsman because he hasn't played to his potential. Katich seems to be losing his 12-month hold at the top of the order as Shane Watson has been chosen to start in Wednesday's Champions Trophy match against West Indies in Mumbai.

Waugh said in The Courier-Mail Katich had suffered from severe Test axings in 2004 and had felt "very vulnerable" ever since. "I really think being dropped from the Test side twice damaged his psyche a bit and he went into his shell because he didn't want the same thing to happen in the one-dayers," Waugh told the paper. "I reckon he just started to think 'if I was playing that well and got dropped I am always very vulnerable'.

Katich is a freeflowing batsman for his state and Waugh said he would like to see him "let things rip" for Australia, although his role since taking over from Matthew Hayden has been to steady the innings. "I have seen him play one-day cricket for New South Wales that way but he hasn't played the same way for Australia - he hasn't done himself justice," Waugh said. "I have seen him destroy attacks for New South Wales. He can be as damaging as anybody."

Throughout last summer Katich struggled to win public acceptance and there were pushes for Phil Jaques and Matthew Hayden to return to the side. Katich finished the Australian summer with a century in the third VB Series final in Brisbane, but despite holding his spot in South Africa and Bangladesh, he struggled during the warm-up series in Malaysia last month.

"He has been concerned about his spot in the side after what happened in the Test matches," Waugh said. "The more he started to think along those lines it restricted his strokeplay. They owe it to Simon to give him one more chance but to go out and play his way and not worry about the consequences."

Waugh has also said Steve Smith, the former New South Wales batsman, should be promoted to the national selection panel in place of Allan Border, who resigned last week. Waugh has not nominated for the position.