Australia news June 16, 2011

Katich's omission a shock to me - Ponting

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting has said he was shocked by Cricket Australia's decision to drop Simon Katich from the list of centrally contracted players. Ponting also said Katich was justified in calling the decision to cut him from the list "absolutely ridiculous", during a forthright press conference at which he announced he would play on for New South Wales.

"It's fair to say he [Katich] didn't hold back in his press conference and rightly so as well," Ponting said on the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show. "To be omitted from the contract list was a great shock to him. It was a shock to me. His performance in the last two or three years has been as good as anybody's in the world."

The decision will put Ponting and Michael Hussey - the only two players over 35 left with a contract - under extra pressure to perform. The scrutiny on Ponting will be especially strong, given that in the past two years he has averaged 38 in Test cricket compared to Katich's mark of 48.

"It puts us 36-year-olds on notice now, Mike Hussey and myself," he said. "It's going to make us work that little bit harder. I would have liked to have another old bloke around the group with me. [But] It means a young guy gets a go and hopefully that guy can stand up and do the job for us."

Ponting's comments came as Shane Warne, commentating in England on Sky Sports, said the selectors had taken the easier decision by removing Katich instead of Ponting. He said if Ponting's form didn't improve in his post-captaincy career, it was important he not hang around and occupy a space that could be given to another player.

"It's a lot easier to drop Simon Katich than Ricky Ponting," Warne said. "I think what they're trying to do at the moment with Ricky is to say, let's take the captaincy off him and let's see how he goes. I think they'll give him a bit of a trial but I think if he's not performing then hopefully he'll put his hand up and say 'you know what, I'm going to retire'."

Trevor Bayliss, the former Sri Lanka coach, said he was as surprised as anyone to see Katich erased from Cricket Australia's plans for next summer.

"Obviously I was surprised that Simon missed out on a contract," he said after being unveiled as the new coach of the Sydney Sixers Twenty20 team. "Certainly his performances over the last few years I thought might've warranted a contract and selection in the team could go one way or the other over the next year or two. But missing out on a contract pretty much makes the decision that he's not going to play at all. So that was a bit of a surprise."

Bayliss said opponents the world over had respected Katich greatly, and knew they would need to concentrate especially hard if they were to dislodge him from the batting crease.

"Certainly he's one of the hard heads, and I know playing against Australia, the Sri Lankans for example, the opposition teams know they're going to play some hard, tough cricket to get his wicket," he said. "Whoever takes his place, there's going to be a bit of pressure on him."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jack on June 19, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    why do people always talk about lara and the indian players!! its an article on australians, leave it that way!

  • Warrick on June 19, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    @5wombats- I am an Aussie and I think Ponting does deserve a chance post captaincy and I also think that he will find form again. Anyone who doubts that underestimates the determination of the man. I wasn't a fan of his recent captaincy or his histrionics on the field or his involvement with political decisions in selections, but I do think he deserves a chance to score a mountain of runs. I thought Katich might get the chop because they wouldn't sack the former skipper & Husseys amount of runs in the latest Ashes series would give him a reprieve. Not that I think Hussey should have been there after his extended from slump prior. There is no doubt there is a mess created over the last number of years on many fronts but I'm tipping Punter to score a heap of runs & go out on his own terms in the next year or two. I reckon Katich will also be on the plane to SL, perhaps as a back up. That is the way things seem to operate here at the mo.

  • Andrew on June 18, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    @5wombats - funny how you think "everyone" agrees with you, (there is some interesting psycho-analysis - such as a need for positive re-inforcement etc there) because "they" don't all agree with you. @Abhinav Kishore - the LBW you were referring to was pretty close (plum on live TV & from front on replays), it was a short delivery that didn't bounce - SRT took his eyes off the ball. IF India would use UDRS a decision like that may of had questions on height, but they would of been minor. It wasn't a howler.

  • Satish on June 17, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Steve Smith should not even be within a mile of the team bus that leaves for Sydney embarking on Australia's toughest test assignment, which is a Test Series in Sri Lanka. I have a feeling that A Mendis and S Randiv will also trouble these Aussie batsmen a lot. If Katich and Watson would have opened against D Fernando, T Perera, A Matthews and C Welegedara, I would have fancied a 200 run stand in each of the 3 Tests for the Aussies for the sheer weight of class, because these 2 guys can tackle Mendis and any other tweaker that the Lankans include. However, the moment u put P Jacques as the 2nd opener and include Khwaja and S Smith in the side it doesn't look Aussie any more. The Aussies not only need Katich, but also D Hussey and B Hodge. S Marsh should open with S Katich and S Watson should be made to bat at no.5.

  • Martin on June 17, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @Meety; funny that everyone in Australia now agrees with me that it's Ponting that should've been dropped, not Katich. Everyone in Australia can see it - except you. And remember - I was saying this back in January. @VivGilchrist; "Ponting in the selectors eyes has built up alot of credits, but is it best for the team?" I agree with you - it isn't best for the team. Ponting was pushed out of the captaincy - now he's going to have to be pushed out of the team.

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    @bigfrank A focus on the ashes is all very well. But Australia have to play two away series on the subcontinent this year and it will be hard. The Australian test team is in a rut and needs to focus on winning the next few series, not picking a team for a series two years away. Also can the moderators please just remove posts about Indian and/or tendulkar on threads that have nothing to do with them, its becoming ridiculous.

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    I really cant Understand some of You Bloggers...This is an Article on Australian Cricket..How Tendulkar and Lara come in...Some of U bloggers Just need a Life.

  • aamir on June 17, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    there is no point arguing about the greatness of tendulkar ... he is surely one of the greats, ever played the game ... he is a master ... the end ... but you are arguing about the OTHER MASTER ... brain lara ... its not who is big .. both are legends of game .. learn to show the respect when its due ...

  • K. on June 17, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    @ ijaz-butt-for-icc-y-we-suffer-alone...From just a few gurus of the game,from the same site itself...

  • Basil on June 17, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    It's not an equal playing field. No matter how bad Clarke played in the Ashes he was always going to be our next captain. Ponting in the selectors eyes has built up alot of credits, but is it best for the team? Smith is chosen on potential. Beer was selected on a hunch. OKeefe, who has performance behind him doesn't get selected. North was persisted with for too long - Khawaja or some other batsman couldve had a year in the Test team before the Ashes.Tour to Bangladesh after WCup and they send all the old guys over. Where was the youth on that tour? How do these selectors think? Why isn't anyone accountable? It really makes no sense. Now this, Katich should stay, a new opener comes in an Watto down to no4. Ponting stays on for Tests only, Hussey ODIs only as new guys get ushered in. But none of that will happen....

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