Australia news June 8, 2011

Australian cricket can't afford to lose Katich - Marsh

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Australian cricket cannot afford to lose Simon Katich from Sheffield Shield ranks already thin on experience, the players union chief Paul Marsh has said.

Katich is yet to decide whether to play on or retire after being told he had no recourse against the contentious decision of the national selectors to jettison him from the list of Cricket Australia-contracted players. Despite the divergence of views, the former captain Ricky Ponting has said he can understand the selectors' reasons for pushing Katich aside.

A vocal critic of Cricket Australia's unbridled push towards youth over the past handful of summers, Marsh said that Katich's years of knowledge, and hard knocks, could not be replaced.

"I'm sure he'll take a few days to decide which way he goes. Certainly from my perspective I'd love to see him stay involved in Australian cricket," Marsh told ESPNcricinfo. "He's one of the finest quality players, both as a player and a human being, that we have in our system, so to lose him from our system would be a bad outcome for Australian cricket.

"Australian cricket doesn't have enough experienced players around the state system at the moment … it's really important we have really quality experienced players around our state and around the national team if we're going to re-claim the No.1 spot in the world."

Ponting said he understood why Katich was no longer part of the selectors' plans, but was also sympathetic towards his now former teammate.

"He'd be devastated. Reading the paper today he didn't even want to talk to anyone yesterday being as disappointed as he was. So you can understand that," Ponting told the radio station Triple M. "He's been our most consistent batsman since he's been back in the Test team over the last four or five years, so that would've come as a huge shock to him yesterday.

"But it sounds like what the selectors have had to say about it is they want to give Hughes and Watson a couple of years' run at it leading into the next Ashes, so you can understand that thinking as well."

Marsh fielded a call from Katich's manager, Robert Joske, about whether there was any avenue of appeal, but informed him that the finality of selection decisions was not something the Australian Cricketers Association could challenge.

"We have got a dispute resolution mechanism within our MOU but it specifically excludes selection," Marsh said. "It's one of those areas where we all put our faith in the selection panel to make these decisions and the ACA has never and would never initiate a dispute around a selection issue. I think that sits outside of our remit.

"I think if we took issue with the role being performed by the national selection panel, we would look at the panel themselves and we'd discuss that with CA. But in terms of actual selections made by the panel its not something we've ever challenged.

"I feel very sorry for Simon, I think he's probably a victim of circumstances, rather than anything he's done wrong, he's been our best performed batsman over the last few years, there's no question about that, and it appears as though he's not received a contract primarily because of his age and the fact there are a couple of other players in similar age groups.

"So it's a difficult time there's no question about that, and I feel for Simon, I don't think he deserved to be in this situation, but unfortunately there's not a lot he can do I don't think."

Mark Waugh, the former Australian batsman, was cut at the age of 37 in 2002, and said Katich had done far less to deserve being dropped than he did.

"Simon Katich is unlucky because compared to me he was scoring a lot more runs than me. It's not like he's been dropped because he's been out of form," Waugh told foxsports.com.au. "Are there better players? Sometimes we can get a bit carried away with age. I think it depends on fitness and whether the hunger is still there to play at the top level.

"With Ponting, Hussey and Katich, they're all pretty fit. They're not old 35-year-olds and they don't walk around the field and struggle. They're pretty fit and it's all about performance really. I think it's about performance and Katich has got the performance, so that's why he's unlucky."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 11, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Ponting can understand the selectors' decision to axe Katich as it keeps him on the contracted list. Obviously it's logical to keep a failed captain with a recent sub-par batting average than a griity opening batsmen who has the runs on the board over the past 3 years. Obviously success on the field 5 years ago is more important than current form. Obviously the guys at CA are lunatics!

  • Will90 on June 10, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @Bone 101. "Was", not "is". Ponting is a shadow of his former self.

    Katich has the perfect game to lead Australia's reconnaissance, why was he dropped?

  • Barnesy4444 on June 10, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    What's done is done. If they want Hughes to open then they have to stick with him. Not drop him if he has a couple of low scores like they did in 2009 Ashes.

    Personally, if that's what they want then Hughes, katich, Ponting, Watson 4, Clarke 5, khawaja 6.

  • Onedayer on June 10, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Good Old Simon Katich...don't think Clarke would have loved him in his team with the differences they had in the past!!Recall he got the better of his throat once...

  • on June 10, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    Unfairly cut for players that will never be as good as he is now (and some of them have even proven this).

  • 5wombats on June 9, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @Kevin Jong; you are sooo right!! I wrote more or less exactly the same thing back after the Boxing Day debacle. Aus have paid the price for their reaction to getting beat in 2005. I got a good kicking for saying that 6 months ago - but people seem to have woken up to it now. Aus have gone a long way down - and it is going to take a while to get back. Aus should not be in the position where a player like Katich has his retirement forced on him - it demonstrates weakness.

  • 5wombats on June 9, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    I agree, obviously, with a lot of the commenters here who think Ponting should've got the chop before Katich. This is mispalced loyalty from CA - it would make them look bad to replace Ponting as 'skip - then unceremoniously drop him. But that's what should have been done. Hopefully Ricky will fully "understand" when he is finally dropped from the team in 4 or 5 years time.... :-(

  • spinkingKK on June 9, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Clarke is the one who should be dropped.

  • Rahul_78 on June 9, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Did I hear the name of one GREG Chappell somewhere related to the selection issues..! Well...then the whole issue now starts to make some sense.

  • donda on June 9, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Australia needs to rebuild the team with young and talented blood which can put australia back on track in three four years and Katich is old enough to carry that responsibility. I think after 2013 Ashes, all the oldies in Australian cricket should retire and give chance to new 20 to 25 years old players to dominate cricket once again.

    Rebuild the team aussies.

  • on June 11, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Ponting can understand the selectors' decision to axe Katich as it keeps him on the contracted list. Obviously it's logical to keep a failed captain with a recent sub-par batting average than a griity opening batsmen who has the runs on the board over the past 3 years. Obviously success on the field 5 years ago is more important than current form. Obviously the guys at CA are lunatics!

  • Will90 on June 10, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @Bone 101. "Was", not "is". Ponting is a shadow of his former self.

    Katich has the perfect game to lead Australia's reconnaissance, why was he dropped?

  • Barnesy4444 on June 10, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    What's done is done. If they want Hughes to open then they have to stick with him. Not drop him if he has a couple of low scores like they did in 2009 Ashes.

    Personally, if that's what they want then Hughes, katich, Ponting, Watson 4, Clarke 5, khawaja 6.

  • Onedayer on June 10, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Good Old Simon Katich...don't think Clarke would have loved him in his team with the differences they had in the past!!Recall he got the better of his throat once...

  • on June 10, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    Unfairly cut for players that will never be as good as he is now (and some of them have even proven this).

  • 5wombats on June 9, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @Kevin Jong; you are sooo right!! I wrote more or less exactly the same thing back after the Boxing Day debacle. Aus have paid the price for their reaction to getting beat in 2005. I got a good kicking for saying that 6 months ago - but people seem to have woken up to it now. Aus have gone a long way down - and it is going to take a while to get back. Aus should not be in the position where a player like Katich has his retirement forced on him - it demonstrates weakness.

  • 5wombats on June 9, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    I agree, obviously, with a lot of the commenters here who think Ponting should've got the chop before Katich. This is mispalced loyalty from CA - it would make them look bad to replace Ponting as 'skip - then unceremoniously drop him. But that's what should have been done. Hopefully Ricky will fully "understand" when he is finally dropped from the team in 4 or 5 years time.... :-(

  • spinkingKK on June 9, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Clarke is the one who should be dropped.

  • Rahul_78 on June 9, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Did I hear the name of one GREG Chappell somewhere related to the selection issues..! Well...then the whole issue now starts to make some sense.

  • donda on June 9, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Australia needs to rebuild the team with young and talented blood which can put australia back on track in three four years and Katich is old enough to carry that responsibility. I think after 2013 Ashes, all the oldies in Australian cricket should retire and give chance to new 20 to 25 years old players to dominate cricket once again.

    Rebuild the team aussies.

  • Bone101 on June 9, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    I'm not a fan of Hildtich at all, but i think he has got this one right. Australia needs to find new champions if they want to get back near the top in Test cricket. I don't disagree with the fact that Hughes and Khawarja have a lot to prove - but so do all young cricketers. Whether people like it or not, Ponting is one of the best batsmen to ever play for Australia and has been very successful. Katich was only a good player over a couple years at international level. That's why he needs to go. PS. Can't wait to see Cummins out there. I've watched him a few times and it sends goose bumps up my spine.

  • GGBStats on June 9, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    Let's see - in the past 12 months Clarke 1,093 runs from 30 innings at 36.4 Ponting 1,092 runs from 30 innings at 36.4 Katich 1,291 runs from 26 innings at 49.65 Hmmmmm....So, he has scored about 200 runs more than either Clarke or Ponting (about 15% more runs) from 13% less innings - batting in the crucial spot of opener. Hilditch - you make Wayne Swan look like a genius with numbers and spin!

  • Jim1207 on June 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    In India's coaching tenure, Greg Chappell had been telling since 2005 whenever his team loses "we are preparing for 2007 world cup". What happened then was that India shot out of world cup in very first round. A joke was going around that time as one reporter asked Greg about the reason for failure and Greg replied that they are preparing for 2007 world cup without even realizing that India is out of same world cup only. Now the same thing happens when Greg is with Australia - "we are preparing for 2013 Ashes". If he is any wise this time, after losing 2013 Ashes, Greg would tell that they are preparing for next Ashes in 2014.

  • oleg_mcnoleg on June 9, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    I was very surprised at this. You'd think that if you wanted to establish a new opening pair then you would need someone with a proven record and good form at #3 to cover them. Ponting currently does not fit that bill. I'm more surprised that Ponting has been retained - especially as he appears to have declined a move down the order to where he might still be really effective. The question is, though, what happens if Hughes's technical deficiencies continue to be exposed - and don't improve - or Watson gets injured - where do the selectors go if not to Katich? It's another example of muddled Australian selection policy, which, if anything, might help England win the Ashes in 2 years time - after all, if you don't pick your best team aren't you shooting yourself in the foot somewhat?

  • sando_35 on June 9, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    I've seen under 13s more suited to opening the batting in a test match than Phil Hughes....

  • on June 9, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    I've got no problem with Katich being forced out now because letting veterans hang around indefinitely is what exacerbated Australia's demise after the 06/07 Ashes series. All but two players in that squad were over the age of 30 and that should have sent alarm bells ringing because although you can say that age shouldn't matter if their form justifies a place in the side, we saw the problems that came up when we had 7 or 8 players retiring within 18 months of each other.

    After losing in England in 05 it seemed like the only goal CA had was to win the return series when what they should have been doing was bring in new talent so that they could gain experience along side the likes of Warne, McGrath and co. so then when they retired the shock of losing that much experience in one hit wouldn't have been so great. Instead the selection panel acted like those glory days would last forever and didn't do anything and now we're paying the price for it.

  • johnnycash on June 9, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    Simon has paid the price for being injured at the wrong time. I can't help but feel that Greg Chapell had a lot to do with this decision. While you can't blame the selectors for going with youth, i feel the wrong experienced batsman has been axed. Congratulations to Simon Katich for fighting his way back twice into the test side, and for the plethora of runs he has scored the last three years or so. It has been a pleasure to watch someone at the top of the order with a bit of fighting spirit that us aussies are known for. The Australian Test side will miss your fight, how much, we won't really know for a few years. I personally am going to miss the punched drive down the ground, or through cover. It was a pity we never got to see him CAPTAIN the side.

  • OttawaRocks on June 9, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Looks like Australia is not immune to poor, disastrous decision making. There are too many inexperienced and mentally weak Aussie players in the test team to warrant dropping Katich - he could easily find his place in the middle order even if the selectors chose to go with new blood in the opening pair. Poor, poor, poor. All the better for their opponents.

  • powerash5000 on June 9, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    Disgraceful. so much dead wood in the middle order, even if katich doesn't open, could have given stability to middle.

  • on June 9, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Rick Jamez, I think you'll find Graeme Hick was 25 when he made his Test debut and probably spent too long in county cricket entrenching habits in his game that were exposed at Test level (awesome player though). Katich is extremely unlucky. When we're flat out finding players who can even perform to par, why would you sack such a tough player (Michael Clarke...looking in your direction). Personally, I think he should have been appointed captain ahead of Clarke. He could have held it for 2 years giving all the young guys a chance to develop fully.

  • getaclue on June 9, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    why oh why do the selectors only focus their attention to the Ashes. We have some seriously big challenges prior to the next Ashes that will require our best team out on the park to have any shot of taking a couple of series. The 11 should be solely picked on form regardless of age, if their is genuinely an opener in Aus domestic cricket that is in better form than Katich then it is time for Kato to go. I ask anyone to nominate someone in better touch from the SS last year. No chance. Leave it based on form to win each series as it comes along...who gives a toss about an Ashes series still 2 years away.

    And as if Ponting knows how Kato feels, he's been given an unprecendented run at finding form and still hasn't grasped it.

  • bobagorof on June 8, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    My dad always said that you should put your best team on the park. If they have a better player that Katich to take his spot, then fine. But Hughes isn't better than Katich yet - he's still too inconsistent. International cricket is also not the place to be developing players - that should be done in domestic matches. Katich has done more for domestic cricket over the last five years than Ponting has - he forced his way back into the Australian side in 2008 through weight of Shield runs, and he continued to captain NSW when Australia played ODIs. He doesn't owe domestic cricket anything anymore, so if he retires after this treatment I support him 100%.

  • landl47 on June 8, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    The problem with this decision is the inconsistency of the selections for contracts. Ponting is older than Katich and hasn't been in any sort of form for a couple of years now. There is no logical basis on which Katich isn't offered a contract but Ponting is. The rest of the list shows similar problems- older players with not much form are in while younger players are out. Why Bollinger over George, for example? Why Krezja over O'Keefe? I think CA needed to put together a clear strategy, to develop a squad over the next couple of years, recognizing that the results might suffer in the short term (though how much worse could they be than the results for the last 12 months?). @Rick Jamez: Ramprakash, yes, but Hick was 25 when he played his first test. Bad example.

  • crystosis on June 8, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    So is Hussey at the age 36 in contention for the Ashes? He would be 38 by then. Katich would be 37....

  • ranga_s on June 8, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    If Katich is out of Australian Squad...Ponting, Clark, White should be kicked out of Australia......

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 8, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    It's not about fitness at all. It's about Clarke establishing himself as the alpha male of the pack.

  • ffkhan on June 8, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    Why fix something that isn't broken. Katich is one of the few Aussies whose batting I enjoy....gritty & gutsy. He didn't deserve this. He'll get into any side of the world with his current form. Reckless_Akash is right; he'll be back. Hang in there Katich !!

  • Reckless_Akash on June 8, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    This might be a dumb question, but does not being in the list of contracted players mean that Katich will never be picked again? I mean, does Australia select their Test squad only from the list of contracted players? If that's the case how did a player like Michael Beer get picked in the Ashes test last year? He was a bit of a nobody then, and I'm sure he wasn't in the list of contracted players! So I think given how this selection panel has been prone to go back and forth on players, I think when Hughes fails (and he will, given his technique), Katich will be back, contracted or not!

  • on June 8, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    why not ponting, sorry but pontings one day career should be done and dusted if aussies want to have any future....tests may be ok. Katitch is best opener for australia

  • on June 8, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Seriously, Katich should have been up there instead of Ponting who is wrecked after so many Test series losses to India, England, and South Africa. Add to that the World Cup exit. India should closely watch at how the Australian thinktank handles the transition period and learn both the good things and bad. Katich, a player with a boundless heart was clearly unlucky. There is no point talking about it now anyway. Just let's see how it goes.

  • on June 8, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    End of the day, if you are putting the runs on the board you are entitled to be in the team. Once you hit the mid 30's mark & your form falls away, chances are you won't get another chance & that is fair enough, everyone has to retire sometime. That said every player that's proved themselves @ test level deserves the opportunity to play until they falter. Look at Tendulkar, he has been on fire for the last couple of years. The younger players should play an 'understudy' role until their time comes & concentrate on learning from the pros & improving their game so they are ready when their time comes. Look at those players that have had instant success at test levels after making thier debut - Trott, Hussey, Swann - All late 20's to 30. Its easy to say why weren't they picked earlier? But 'Blooding' players too young often backfires, look at Hick, Ramprakash etc. How far could they have gone if they debuted at 26 instead of 21-22? Both were reduced to mental wrecks at test level...

  • Blazedragon on June 8, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Ponting made a century and one of the few players that made sure that we went out fighting at least in the QF of the world cup and he did it all under pressure. I am sorry but you are crazy if you think he should be dropped now. White, Smith, Hughes are the batsman that can't really perform. Bowling selection has its share of mistakes too like not selecting McKay.

  • Tyrone_Persaud on June 8, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    How can Ponting understand where the selectors are comimg from? This is simple,what have you done for me recently? This chap has been Aust.'s most consistent test batsmen since his return to test cricket. I hate this whole thing about age. You are playing professional cricket,if you are not getting the job done,then you get dropped & subsequently cut as a contracted player. "Believe in now",preparing for the future is good,but you should want to also win now,as such you pick & contracted your best players. I'm extremely sorry for Katich,in my opinion,this is the second time he has been hard done by the ACB,first being dropped when Aust. lost the Ashes in 2005,because of an average of 27.55 with the highest being 43.77 - he was the only batsman dropped from that team,while the five others that batted ahead of him didn't fear much better. Katich worked his way back as the top Shield batsman,returned to test cricket and has been the most consistent Aust.test batsman since,now his cut.

  • sammykent on June 8, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Why not drop Ponting? Katich is a better batsman and offers a handy spin bowling option that has a habit of picking up key wickets. If there is only space for two 35yr old+ players then Ponting should go. There are so many great players in Australia but unfortunately it seems the older the guys are the best, making a youth policy hard to implement. The fresh start needs to be earmarked by wholesale change and the acceptance that time will be required to obtain rankings success. Australia just may have to be content to lose some games so they can win a whole lot more.

  • popcorn on June 8, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Phil Hughes is a disaster as an opener. Undependable.Simon Katich is a true grit fighter, never gifts his wicket away - unlike Phil Hughes. Let the technically sound Usman Khawaja open the innings with Watson, if Simon Katich cannot stayfor Arithmetic reasons - not Form Reasons.

  • JANVI11 on June 8, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    People with good memory may not forget Katich - Clarke saga. Captains usually gets the teams and squads they want. No different story here. Please stop the talks of youth and other craps.

    Do not blame the wrong person. Greg, though should be happy at the corner that he could cull another Ganguly.

  • Gordo85 on June 8, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    I fully agree with masterblaster21. You just can't keep on playing the older players all the time it will catch up with you and cause you trouble. Just like letting the younger current players in domestic cricket get blocked and blocked. I was rather annoyed at the fact Mark Cosgrove didn't even make the Australian A team recently. You look at the guy and his domestic record it speaks for it's self some people may say well he didn't get selected due to his fitness but I think he has improved in that area now.

  • on June 8, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    It should have been Ponting.

  • indianzen on June 8, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    what ever, if you are planning to trust in youth, you gotta kick the oldies mate... you all saw what happened to Ganguly... let him play the domestic...

  • VivGilchrist on June 8, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    I would have sent Ponting packing ahead of Katich. I'm sure Ponting would understand.

  • dutch23 on June 8, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Some people have short memories. Did anyone out there see the Shield Final. Hughes looked really good whether he was playing the short or full ball. He scored 130 odd and 90 odd in a losing team. I agree that Katich was unlucky to be dropped but at what point do you bring in the kids. Better now then in 2 years time when all Katich, Pointing and M. Hussey retire. Dont worry about Hughes he will be fine. And for the record I am a Redbacks supporter and am very happy to see Ferg get a contract.

  • PACERONE on June 8, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    Poor Katich...he gets injured and they get rid of him.Anyone that really follows the game will know that in most of Watson innings he has had a reprieve early.The most solid batsman in the top 4 has been Katich.Maybe his grand father was born in the West Indies and he could go open the innings for them.He is far from finished.

  • muzwazi on June 8, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    why the hell are they dropping katich!!! Hes been our best batsman along with watson in the last 3 years, selectors once again you've gotten it wrong! Why would you give 3 of those so called spinners a contract yet drop one of our top 2 batsman? I hope all get the sack

  • jonesy2 on June 8, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    the chappell's may be 2 of the great batsmen in history but they have no idea what they are doing off the field, greg with the team and ian with commentary. between greg and hilditch australian cricket is suffering. dropping hauritz and steve smith batting at 6 in the ashes, then katich not being offered a contract just confirms this.

  • on June 8, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    retained pointing and left out simon. wow

  • alexbraae on June 8, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    As a man who really hates to see Australia win, it's great to see Katich gone. He had guts, technique, fitness and durability. I look forward to some spectacular collapses at the top order next time they go to England.

  • Stark62 on June 8, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    His like the Trott of Australia!

    His not too flashy or very pleasing on the eyes but scores runs consistently and you can check his record from the last 2 years.

  • V_J_ on June 8, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Ponting: "But it sounds like what the selectors have had to say about it is they want to give Hughes and Watson a couple of years' run at it leading into the next Ashes, so you can understand that thinking as well"

    Not sure if we would say the same if he were in Kato's position. Is Ashes the only series they play? Thats one ridiculous statement from X-captain.

    Ponting is out of form and Katich is one of their best batsfman for the past 3-4 yrs. so why not axe ponting if CA doesnt live on player-weight?

    CA beat PCB and WICB to get to #1 for their dumb decision.

  • on June 8, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    I don't think Katich should have been dropped. Like someone else said, he has a lot of fight and psychological strength and can stick around for a long time. It's what the team needs and what M. Clarke and Ponting haven't been giving. Why didn't they drop Clarke? A proven non-performer under pressure, an accelerator of middle order collapses, and technically hopeless against the swinging ball? What exactly can he do well? Can't even bowl or field that well anymore because he's got a sore back. Does he really make up for his technical shortcomings with his captaincy? I doubt it. Great help he's going to be getting Australia back to No.1.

  • Pirran on June 8, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Speaking as a half-Cornish, half-Aussie hybrid, this is eerily reminiscent of the irrationality of England selectors during the dark days of the '80's and '90's. Katich has been Australia's one truly consistent player since his recall and he's been replaced in a panic. Sadly, his Test career is now over, as the selectors would far rather lose him than lose face when it all goes pear shaped. Ponting has been steadily declining for a couple of years now, but he's a Talisman and irreplaceable. This is how England used to think.

    You don't fetishize youth for it's own sake; youth is only ONE criterion. The exemplar here is Graham Gooch. Goochie played the best cricket of his career after 35 and demonstrated that it is entirely down to the individual. Katich has been averaging over 50 since his recall and only Cook has out-scored him over the same period. If you wanted to consider replacing him after the next ashes series, fair enough, but not now when he's genuinely irreplaceable. Madness.

  • udit9 on June 8, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    i dont think he needs to worry, once hughes starts struggling against SL and India he will be back in the opening position in no time!

  • dsig3 on June 8, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    Well it can go either way I guess. I applaud them for making a tough decision, as long as they stick with their guns. We should get ready for some mighty collapses. Oh, and I really hope Phil Hughes has been facing the short ball.

  • vswami on June 8, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    This is surprising. Katich is the only vintage old pitbull left that Australia used to be famous for producing. And he is scoring runs. I would have thought he would have made an excellent stop gap skipper for 2 years between Ponting and the next long term choice.

  • Dilseben on June 8, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Dropping Katich is really a big mistake especially since he has been their more consistent batsmen having scored runs all around the world. Though i am an Indian, I admire Katich for his steely determination & resolve to grind it out when the chips are down. Citing age as a reason, is absolutely absurd..as long as a person is performing persist with him. Its true that youngsters have to be bred for the future but that should never be at a cost of a experienced player who is still performing well. If at all you are going thru a lean patch & gets dropped,its understandable. Like in the case of Ponting, I am a strong believer that he will be back in form now since he has left the captaincy..but in the present scenario he was playing far worser that Katich. As a matter of fact,coming to look at it..the middle order has been the weak link in the Aussies in recent times rather than dismantling a good opening pair of Katich & Watson!!!

  • Jim1207 on June 8, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Let us see if Ponting understands or gets surprised when he himself gets fired in near future. In recent times, Indian players and now Mark Waugh also have emphasized one important factor: "It's not the age that matters, it's the fitness and the form". It's a no-brainer that Hilditch or Chappell would not understand such simple truth. So, bye-bye Katich, hopefully your IPL contract in the past helped you to overcome such sudden devastation.

  • Short_of_a_length on June 8, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    Paul Marsh is right, but it isn't just the shield competition that will lose out. Katich is one of the few players around at the moment who has had form and grit, and is precisely what this current team desperately needs. The last time I checked the test team should consist of the best players. Why would Ponting, who is totally out of sorts, remain and Katich go? This would have to be one of the most baffling decisions our fearless selectors have made.

  • on June 8, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Australia better hope phil hughes improves then. He has failed in every single match against england over 2 ashes series, they have figured him out, and it wouldnt take much for other sides to do the same, just bowl into his chest on leg stump and dont stay short or wide outside offstump or he'll murder you all day long. Hughes is so hesistant to play the pull shot, which opens up huge weakness against the short ball as he fends and ducks. He needs to play pullshot or he wont be a good opener at test level, he simply doesnt bat long enough to be leaving those balls, he needs to hit the runs on offer be4 he is out due to poor technique. Phil jaques is still middle age, he can play as opener. but for some reason australia has gone off him, Marcus north played way too many tests for australia, also good to see mike and david hussey on contracts there both good batters and dave hussey shud be promoted to test side as well "leading up to 2013 ashes" as selectors would say.

  • Rahul_Paharia on June 8, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Can't believe the decision. One can already see Greg Chappel's involvement in this decision. Can the man ever do something right?

  • KP_84 on June 8, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    They could have left out Ponting as well. Not only is he getting old, he hasn't played very well over the past 18 months or so. Although Ponting is a former captain, he is not known for his leadership credentials or tactical nous, so it can't be argued that his experience adds value.

  • anver777 on June 8, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    I think Katich is fit enough to play another couple of years for Aus !!!!!!!

  • on June 8, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Siddhu said for Mumbai Indians after selecting fielding and giving Abu Nachem first over against Gayle "Mumbai dig thier grave with their own teeths!" I think Austrailian selectors are doing the same. I can understand if they drop out of form Pointing and give him nice farewell but Katich was performing really well. I don't think Auz have any better test opener than him at this moment.

  • fijiguy on June 8, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Simon Katich's current form is much better than Ricky Ponting. Ponting should have been dropped instead. The selectors have made a hugh blunder here. Ponting said he understood where the selectors were coming from...he is now singing in their praise just because he got saved by them....come on Ponting YOU and everyone else knows that its time for you to go...so do the right thing and retire before you get kicked out.

  • Woodsheart on June 8, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    very unfortunate for team australia and simon !!!

  • Jeetender on June 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    i feel very very sad for katich... he was the most consistent performer in australian side in last few years... If sachin , laxman , dravid can perform so well even at the age of 38, then why cant katich continue for few more years... Hope selectors change their mind.. Love from India..

  • puphusss on June 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Thats very harsh from Cricket Australia. Simo has been a great ambassador for Australia. they cant treat him like that. He has scored runs everywhere in the world.

  • on June 8, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    wow. crazy times in Australian cricket. Shame to see our most reliable batsmen over the last few years told his services are no longer required with no real reason besides the fact he's getting too old.

  • thewayitwass on June 8, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Based on form, Ponting should have been dropped for Hughes, Katich could easily open with Hughes and Watto could move down to 3. Either that or Katich could have batted at 3. He is our only batsman who can really tough it out, he is going to be a big loss, ponting should have retired completely after the Ashes debacle

  • Gizza on June 8, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    I watched the Aussie selectors' response and anwsers to the media today. The main reason for dropping Katich was to build towards the next Ashes. Australia never used to think along these lines. Teams that have narrow goals (Aus and Eng over the Ashes and formerly India and Pakistan over each other) can never progress very far. India has recently gotten out of that "just have to beat Pakistan" mentality and it has reaped dividends. Australia OTOH are going backwards. There are at least 2 big Test Series before the Ashes for them (India and South Africa). With their current line of thinking ("As long as we beat the Poms") they are gonna get whooped in both of those series.

  • Winsome on June 8, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Nice of Punter to be so understanding. Especially as there is more reason to axe him on the last few years form than Katich. It's always the same, if you are in, you are in. The one thing in the Aus team that worked regularly was the opening partnership, it's the middle order that is screwed so it makes so much sense to stuff around with the openers first. It's ironic that Hughes was dropped so hurriedly in the last Ashes in England, now all they want him to do is play in the next, despite having been rubbish in the one just gone. CA and it's minions are insane, the lot of them.

  • masterblaster21 on June 8, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    I know he has been a wonderful player of the past 3 years but its time to move on. Its absolute rubbish how the two Hussey's, Ponting and even Haddin still have Cricket Australia contracts. They say they are building for the future...Not with Hussey, Hussey, Haddin and Ponting in the team they aren't. Can't the boneheads at Cricket Australia realise its time to move on and build for the future?

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  • masterblaster21 on June 8, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    I know he has been a wonderful player of the past 3 years but its time to move on. Its absolute rubbish how the two Hussey's, Ponting and even Haddin still have Cricket Australia contracts. They say they are building for the future...Not with Hussey, Hussey, Haddin and Ponting in the team they aren't. Can't the boneheads at Cricket Australia realise its time to move on and build for the future?

  • Winsome on June 8, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Nice of Punter to be so understanding. Especially as there is more reason to axe him on the last few years form than Katich. It's always the same, if you are in, you are in. The one thing in the Aus team that worked regularly was the opening partnership, it's the middle order that is screwed so it makes so much sense to stuff around with the openers first. It's ironic that Hughes was dropped so hurriedly in the last Ashes in England, now all they want him to do is play in the next, despite having been rubbish in the one just gone. CA and it's minions are insane, the lot of them.

  • Gizza on June 8, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    I watched the Aussie selectors' response and anwsers to the media today. The main reason for dropping Katich was to build towards the next Ashes. Australia never used to think along these lines. Teams that have narrow goals (Aus and Eng over the Ashes and formerly India and Pakistan over each other) can never progress very far. India has recently gotten out of that "just have to beat Pakistan" mentality and it has reaped dividends. Australia OTOH are going backwards. There are at least 2 big Test Series before the Ashes for them (India and South Africa). With their current line of thinking ("As long as we beat the Poms") they are gonna get whooped in both of those series.

  • thewayitwass on June 8, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Based on form, Ponting should have been dropped for Hughes, Katich could easily open with Hughes and Watto could move down to 3. Either that or Katich could have batted at 3. He is our only batsman who can really tough it out, he is going to be a big loss, ponting should have retired completely after the Ashes debacle

  • on June 8, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    wow. crazy times in Australian cricket. Shame to see our most reliable batsmen over the last few years told his services are no longer required with no real reason besides the fact he's getting too old.

  • puphusss on June 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Thats very harsh from Cricket Australia. Simo has been a great ambassador for Australia. they cant treat him like that. He has scored runs everywhere in the world.

  • Jeetender on June 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    i feel very very sad for katich... he was the most consistent performer in australian side in last few years... If sachin , laxman , dravid can perform so well even at the age of 38, then why cant katich continue for few more years... Hope selectors change their mind.. Love from India..

  • Woodsheart on June 8, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    very unfortunate for team australia and simon !!!

  • fijiguy on June 8, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Simon Katich's current form is much better than Ricky Ponting. Ponting should have been dropped instead. The selectors have made a hugh blunder here. Ponting said he understood where the selectors were coming from...he is now singing in their praise just because he got saved by them....come on Ponting YOU and everyone else knows that its time for you to go...so do the right thing and retire before you get kicked out.

  • on June 8, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Siddhu said for Mumbai Indians after selecting fielding and giving Abu Nachem first over against Gayle "Mumbai dig thier grave with their own teeths!" I think Austrailian selectors are doing the same. I can understand if they drop out of form Pointing and give him nice farewell but Katich was performing really well. I don't think Auz have any better test opener than him at this moment.