Australia v India, 4th Test, Sydney January 5, 2004

Say hello to Katich

  shares

When Simon Katich took guard on the third day, Australia were almost out of the game. Playing without risk, he scored 125, pulling anything short, and driving full-length deliveries with abandon. By the time he departed, as wicket number six for Anil Kumble, India decided their plan of batting only once would not work.

Almost one-third of Katich's runs - as well as boundaries - came in the cover region. In fact, a large number of his runs and boundaries came predominantly in three areas: cover, long-on, and midwicket. In the company of Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, and then Jason Gillespie, he split the fielders stationed on the boundary. And when he wasn't continuing Murali Kartik's misery, Katich hustled the fielders with quick singles and twos.

Favoured area of scoring
Runs Fours
Cover 37 5
Long-on 19 2
Midwicket 18 3

An important aspect of his batting was his handling of Kumble, who ended with eight wickets. Kumble bowled more deliveries to Katich (a majority of them on a good length) than anyone else, and the batsman used his feet to get to the pitch of the ball. It's surprising that no other batsman tried this ploy against Kumble, for it worked beautifully. It made Kumble unsure of where to bowl, and it fetched Katich 57 runs off the 81 balls he faced.

Stepping out to Kumble
Katich All other batsmen
Balls stepped out to 22 3
Runs scored when stepping out 18 5
Overall runs scored 57 73
Overall balls faced 81 211
Overall strike rate 4.2 2.08

The runs came, but so did the wickets. Yet another five-wicket haul for Kumble took his tally for the series to 20 in three games, with a fifth-day pitch still to bowl on. Mixing legbreaks with almost the same number of googlies, Kumble was the one bowler Australia found tough to handle.

Australian batsmen v bowlers

Not in control %

Agarkar

16.25

Pathan

21.25

Kumble

26.37

Kartik

8.6

And it got even tougher. Towards the end of the day, Kumble bowled two of the four overs Australia faced. Getting the ball to rear off the wicket, he caused Hayden considerable discomfort, and gave India more reason to look forward to tomorrow.