Katich determined for revenge
The last time Simon Katich was on an Ashes tour it was Australia having to attempt to force the pace in the final game of the series. On that occasion a draw at The Oval left them handing back the urn for the first time in 16 years and Katich lost his place two games later.
This time all Australia needs is a draw to retain the Ashes and Katich has enjoyed a much better time, scoring a century in Cardiff and averaging 41.33 in the four games. However, the final Test will determine how this side is judged.
"It is a huge week," he said. "I remember last time very well, we were sort of hoping to get back in the series at The Oval and nearly managed to do that. But nearly is not good enough. It was a great series but is remembered for the wrong reasons from our point of view. This time around we have the chance to really go in and get on top early and make the most of the opportunity and every one will be keen to do that."
Katich, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Brett Lee are the members of the current squad who experienced the damaging 2-1 defeat, and Lee is the only one not expected to be on show as the quartet looks for revenge. Lee is likely to lose his battle to break into the starting XI unless he does something extraordinary during this weekend's tour match in Canterbury.
Katich said the 2005 upset was not being used as motivation for the whole squad, but the memory was still strong for those involved. "It is hard to recreate that because a lot of the guys in our squad did not experience it," he said. "But for those of us who did it was a bitter pill to swallow to lose the Ashes for the first time in a while. A lot of our young guys have not been through that and we are not going to bring that up with them now."
Australia have their final warm-up from Saturday, playing the England Lions in a two-day game, and Katich wants to work on batting for longer periods after failing to convert starts following his 122 in the opening match. He scored 48 and 6 at Lord's and 46 and 26 in Birmingham before a fourth-ball duck in Leeds, where the tourists levelled the series 1-1.
"There have been a few starts and it has been a bit disappointing I have not been patient enough," he said. "So from that point of view I have paid the price. It is just a matter of wearing the attack down because they do keep on coming at you."
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo