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Katich has worked out his game
A tremendous batting display by both Katich and Ponting, on a day when England looked a bit flat on the field (04:41)
July 9, 2009
Related Links » Video & Audio: Chappell: '360 could be enough for England' Players/Officials: Simon Katich | Ricky Ponting Matches: England v Australia at Cardiff Series/Tournaments: The Ashes | Australia tour of England and Scotland Teams: Australia | England
England v Australia, 1st Test, Cardiff, 2nd day
Katich has worked out his gameJuly 9, 2009
Andrew Miller: On the second day of the first Ashes Test, the bat dominated and in particular Australia's second pairing of Simon Kaitch and Ricky Ponting. Ian, they have taken Australia to a strong position?
Ian Chappell: Very good position, it was excellent batting. Ricky Ponting, I thought, started very positively, played aggressively. Katich did what he always does. He is a classic batsman who knows his game and sticks to those rules. And as he went on, he got more positive and started to score a bit more quickly.
I think Australia achieved their objective of grinding the England bowlers into the turf. It was a very good effort, because there is enough turn there in the pitch. If England had got a break through, there would have been a new batsman in and they might have got a double breakthrough. So I thought it was a tremendous partnership between Ponting and Katich.
AM: Well, Katich has had a tough time in the Ashes series, 2001 and 2005, both were traumatic series for him. But he has started this one as if he means to really make a mark this time.
IC: I think he is much more confident and relaxed player now than he was before. He has had some down periods, got left out of the team and actually felt that he would never get back into the team. I was reading the other day, and he said that from now on every game is a bonus. And I think, because he is thinking that way he is much more relaxed. I think he has perhaps sorted out couple of things in his batting as well. He scored a pile of runs playing first-class cricket for New South Wales, and that has obviously done a lot for his confidence.
I think the most important thing with Simon Katich is that he has worked out his game, and that's what he sticks to. He doesn't try and go out of those boundaries and that suits him very well.
AM: As for Ponting, everyone knows how crucial his form is for Australia, particularly at this time when they have a really young and changing side. What did you make of his performance today?
IC: Well, I think because Ricky works so hard on his captaincy and sorting out the young and inexperienced guys, he probably took an edge off his own batting in South Africa. But I think he has probably worked that out as a captain, and realised that he has to contribute more as a captain because he doesn't have all those experienced players around him. But, he can't do that so much that it detracts from his batting. So I think he has worked out the balance and he looked really positive today from ball one, he looks good and that is good news for Australia.
AM: What do we make of England's bowling? I mean they went in with two spinners, there have been signs that it is going to turn, but it looks pretty slow turn so far.
IC: It does look slow. Couple of times when both [Monty] Panesar and [Graeme] Swann have bowled a good delivery, the batsmen had to hurry their shot a little bit but they just had enough time to make the adjustment that they had to make.
I though that James Anderson got bit carried away with [Phil] Hughes. I think he fell into that trap of bowling to Hughes' weakness than bowling to his own strength. To me Anderson's great strength is not banging the ball into the pitch, his strength is to bowl it on the good length with a little bit of swing and bowl an occasional bouncer to push the batsman back. So he fell into that trap a bit. Really, apart from that period when [Andrew] Flintoff got them going, he bowled a terrific spell straight after lunch, they looked pretty flat.
I think Andrew Strauss also has to work out on his field placing a bit. At times when nothing much is happening, your fallback position is to stop them from scoring singles and rotating the strike regularly and just see if you can make something happen that way. I think he needs to work on placing a field that will keep the batsman on strike for a while.
AM: And prospects for the next three days of the game, there was a lot of talk about the Cardiff pitch, but it looks like that they have prepared a pitch that is going to go five days?
IC: I don't think there is any problem with the pitch going five days. The game is moving along at pretty good speed at the moment. So I would think that a result is well and truly possible unless we get some interruptions with weather.
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