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September 1, 2005
Simon Katich, whose role for The Oval is still undecided, has publicly apologised for his angry outburst at Trent Bridge. Katich received a bad lbw decision in the second innings from Aleem Dar, but as he left the field he watched his dismissal on the replay screen, which is not allowed under ICC regulations, and then swore loudly in the pavilion enclosure.
"What I did was wrong," Katich, who was fined 50% of his match fee, told the Courier-Mail. "I shouldn't have let the emotion of it all get to me, but I did and was baited by a couple of the guys in the crowd."
Despite Katich's impressively controlled returns of 49 and 59 in the fourth Test, he faces an uncertain lead-up to fifth match until his place becomes clear. Katich could remain at No.6, be pushed to open instead of Matthew Hayden, or miss out if Australia push for the allrounder Shane Watson. "That's the nature of playing in this team," he said. "You know there are guys on the fringes who are capable of coming in."
With Australia 2-1 down and facing the prospect of losing the Ashes for the first time in 16 years, John Benaud, a selector for the 1989 tour, said they could match the demise of the West Indies unless they started rebuilding. "I don't think we are in that situation yet, but there is certainly more urgency about it now than there was 12 months ago," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Benaud said the team was showing its age with sloppy fielding and slowing batting reflexes and footwork. "Adam Gilchrist is a good example of that," he said. "I'm a great fan of Damien Martyn, but I think Damien had a fairly easy role through his bad patch [in 2003-04] and that's when I feel he should have been out of the team to slide somebody else in."
Dean Jones, the '89 Ashes-winning batsman, has also added to the squad debate by saying Glenn McGrath was selfish to leave his decision to play at Trent Bridge until the last minute and he should decide by Monday if he is fit for The Oval. "If he wants to do another fitness test two days out from the fifth Test I'll kick his bum because it's distracting everyone," Jones told Sydney's 2KY Radio. "How can you have a fitness test on the morning of a match? It's just uncalled for.
"Whether he likes it or not, it's not about him, it's about the team. He's been carrying that elbow injury for a long time and he selfishly went right to the last minute to try to get himself in that team and it's wrong."
Jones said he would pick Mike Hussey, who is due to leave England for Australia A's tour to Pakistan, to open instead of Hayden, Watson to replace Katich and Stuart MacGill to exploit England's legspin weakness.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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