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March 20, 2008
Simon Katich has used Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn and Justin Langer as role models during his record-breaking campaign to regain a Test spot. Finishing the season as a Pura Cup-winning captain, Katich also set a record for the most runs in the competition, with his 86 and 92 in the decider pushing his tally to 1506 at 94.12.
During the final, which New South Wales sealed by 258 runs, Katich insisted the trophy was all that mattered, but after the game he spoke about the possibility of a return to the international scene. "My whole philosophy was to try to improve as a player and I have looked at guys who got back into the Test team later in their careers and have become better players," Katich said in the Australian. "There are quite a few examples of that whether it's Matty Hayden, Justin Langer or Damien Martyn."
The tour of the West Indies starts in May and Katich is a strong chance of joining the squad, although it will be hard initially to break into a settled top six. Steve Waugh told Fox Sports Katich "should be playing for Australia".
"He is too good to be playing just domestically," Waugh said. "He is a class player and he gets runs in all situations, particularly when it's tough. The last couple of years have been very successful, they [Australia] have dominated teams. But now with a bit of a changing of the guard, I think they will need Simon Katich in the side at some stage."
Allan Border, a former selector, said Katich had responded well to being dropped from Australia's contract list last year. "He can do no more," Border said. "David Hussey and Brad Hodge are playing in [the Pura Cup final]. They haven't done themselves any harm, Hodge in particular. But Katich, it's hard to go past that sort of stuff."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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