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October 30, 2007
Simon Katich has corrected a technical flaw in his batting and is capable of opening for Australia in Tests, according to his batting coach Bob Simpson. Katich made a spectacular 306 for New South Wales against Queensland on the weekend and Simpson said it was a sign he was ready for a Test recall.
Simpson believes Katich used to move his head too far towards the off side, leaving him off-balance and vulnerable to edges. However, having worked with Katich since 2005, Simpson is confident the problem has now been rectified.
"What you're seeing now is Simon using a wider array of shots, particularly straight down the ground," Simpson told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I think he has both the temperament and the technique to open the batting for Australia. When it comes to selections, I think you have to select the man who is in form at first-class cricket."
Although he is unlikely to receive an immediate Test recall, Katich has made the selectors take notice with his first triple-century in first-class cricket, following a terrific county season in which he made 1284 runs at 75.52 for Derbyshire. Simpson said he was impressed with the way Katich had handled the disappointment of losing his national contract during the off-season.
"He has never shown any bitterness at the way he has been treated," Simpson said. "He never spat the dummy or threatened to quit or anything like that. He just realised that the only way he could get his way back into international cricket is score runs at first-class level, and that's what he's been doing."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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