Age does not worry Katich and Co
Simon Katich turns 35 on Saturday but believes age will not be a factor as long as he continues to play well. Katich has been Australia's most consistent batsman over the past year, but he, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey will all be in the old-age category for the India and Ashes series.
"There's a fair bit being made of that and you can't hide from the fact that there are going to be three of us over 35 in the top four or five," Katich told the Australian. "From my point of view I know I'm older but at the same time I'm as hungry as I've ever been. I'm enjoying playing cricket again and my attitude has been the same for the last two or three years."
Katich, who came back to the team in 2008, said he didn't look too far ahead. "But at the same time I'm not going to think ,'just because I'm 35 it's over', because the last three years of my career have been the best," he said. "As soon as you start assuming things because of your age you start worrying about the wrong things."
Since his recall in the West Indies, Katich has scored 2721 runs at 54.42, with eight centuries, in 29 Tests. In the nine matches before the Leeds game against Pakistan, he posted at least 50.
He has two Tests against India to prepare for the Ashes, the main event of the Australian summer. "I'm confident with us playing in Australia, we know our conditions well and we're looking forward to playing at home," he said. "Hopefully that will hold us in good stead, but anything can happen."
Doug Bollinger is another player who has performed well in the Test side, taking 42 wickets in his past nine appearances, and he has supported Ricky Ponting's push for a 5-0 Ashes victory. ''That is the benchmark we can set ourselves and if we can achieve that it would be brilliant," he said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Winning 5-0, especially at home, you wouldn't see me for a couple of weeks, that would be awesome.''
After becoming a regular in the team, Bollinger said he felt like part of the squad, although he struggled in the series against Pakistan. ''During the England tour, I was thinking one too many things, certain things crept into my game that shouldn't have,'' he said. ''I probably wasn't getting as many wickets as I wanted, but that's what happens in sport."