Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day December 7, 2010

Injured Katich ruled out of series


Simon Katich doesn't think he has played his last Test despite a painful Achilles tear ruling him out of the rest of the Ashes series. The timing of the injury is extremely unfortunate for Katich, who is 35 and coming towards the end of his career.

He hopes to start running again in a month, giving his replacement three Tests to impress before the next five-day series against Bangladesh following the World Cup. "There are still a lot of factors, but I will do everything I can to try to play Test cricket again," Katich said. "Obviously my age will be a factor, but I haven't looked at it like that in the last few years because the last two and a half years of my career have been my best."

Katich, who has appeared in 56 Tests, refused to accept any on-field help during the match because he didn't want any special treatment after coming into the game with the problem. The complaint surfaced in Brisbane but he insisted he was fit for the second match. He said it worsened while fielding for two days during England's 5 for 620 declared.

He also dismissed suggestions he had avoided using a runner because the innings could have been his final one in a Test. "It had nothing to do with it," he said. "I knew I had to be out there. I don't like the rule of guys going off the field, I just think you're there to play the game and that's always been one of my things, whether you're injured or not, you're out there."

Katich's withdrawal made it 1-1 in the series stakes after England's Stuart Broad was forced out of the campaign on the same day with a torn stomach muscle. Katich hobbled to 43 in the second innings on Monday before scans showed he had a tear in one of the tendons in his heel.

It is a similar problem to the one suffered by Matthew Hayden in 2008, which gave Katich his chance to restart his Test career following a record-breaking domestic run spree. "Three years ago I was told I wasn't going to play again," Katich said. "All I know is that I'll do everything I can to make sure I can get it right. I'm confident I will."

He will have blood injections in his heel on Wednesday and will then have to wait for the healing to begin. "From there it's a matter of resting it and see how it settles down in the next couple of weeks," he said. He hasn't given up hope of playing in the Sydney Test but it would take a miracle for him to take part.

"I'm very disappointed, only two games into the series, to not be able to have a chance to try to turn things around with the team," he said. "It will be hard not being a part of it."

The injury is also a problem because it robs Australia of a dependable senior batsman, and a man who has built regular sturdy platforms with Shane Watson. The team is in crisis after being out-played in the opening two Tests and they now have to find a new opener for the third game in Perth from December 16. New South Wales' Phillip Hughes is the favourite to come in while Usman Khawaja is also a contender.

"[Katich is] a big loss for us, no doubt," Ricky Ponting said. "He's been one of the leading openers in international cricket since he forced his way back into the team. His record would stack up against most other opening batsmen in the world. He's an experienced player, he's a great character to have around your team and he's an uncompromising sort of guy."

Katich's team-mates were in awe of his pain threshold and his stubbornness as he refused help during the game. If it was his last sighting in the middle of a Test, he has left the arena as one of the country's toughest modern men.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wayne on December 9, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    England are the best team in the world at the moment and the rankings that show India at the top is the biggest joke possible.The BCCI have hijacked the ICC and you can see the result with your plain eyes.For the last 2 years, India have been playing test matches exclusively in India for 90% of the time and that is the sole reason why India are at the top.That is the simple reason why Tendulkar has got so many centuries in the past 2 years.Playing teams like New Zealand,Sri Lanka,Bangladesh is the born habit of the Indians.They couldn't even win against the South Africans whom they played twice in India in the space of 1 year.Why don't they call the England team to India?Because they well know what the result would be.

  • Kalindu on December 8, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    @Nathan Mitton, I didnt see any of the SL fan say so. I'm a Sri Lankan & I respect Katich very well. Probably the only fair player with a cool mind in AUS camp. Yes mate mate that's very obvious, that AUS never played any fiar cricket or with any respect to the opposition players so from a long time.

  • Sajeesh on December 8, 2010, 1:07 GMT

    @Marcio Even if we lost that match by a 1000 runs,it doesn't matter. Because we were so close to a draw.Less than 15 balls remaining. If at-least two bad decisions (out of so many) were correctly given,we could have drawn the match,drawn the series and RETAIN Border-Gavaskar trophy. That makes a lot of difference.

  • wayne on December 7, 2010, 21:50 GMT

    Sorry Raju - my comment was meant to be directed to svshiradhonkar.

  • wayne on December 7, 2010, 21:48 GMT

    @Raju Jinna: Shaun Tait does not want to play tests, and "retired" from longer forms of cricket about two years ago due to physical and mental issues. Still, he's the man for the job in T20 and ODIs, but I wouldn't rely on him to be physically capable of test cricket and bowling 10+ overs per innings.

  • Dick on December 7, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    perhaps bring both Jacques and Hughes in and put Watson in at 6 dropping North. Jacques got injured and couldn't make his way back becasue of Katich and Hayden, not because he couldn't play international if i remember right. I say Hughes only because he's young, talented and should be given another shot.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    @Marcio haahaa.. can't help but laughing at your comment mate. It's a choice for the batsman to go for a runner (ofcourse with opp captains permission) if there is a need and Kato didn't go for it, that's his PERSONAL choice. His choice cannot be compared to someone else who had a runner and won a game for some 'xyz' team. It wasn't a pretty sight when Kato was hobbling and I can see pride in that pain I appreciate him for that; but that act does not pave a path to create a new rule that if a batsman shows up with his crutches he is fair,brave or whatever and the one without them is not. The way the competitive spirit is shown differs from player to player, there are no particular standards set for that. Anyways I really think Katich has done a good job because he claimed that he was match fit and tried to stand by it till the last moment.

  • John on December 7, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    @jonesy2: I see you've decided that Australia need 12 players when they're facing England. Probably riight.

  • Grant on December 7, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    It's tough being a sportsman in your mid thirties. Injuries take longer to heal, no matter how fit you are and people are always ready to write you off. I wish him well- I admire a player with guts, even if he lacks in style.

  • Marcio on December 7, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    @Nathan Mitton, you are spot on. Whining sub-continent fans are obsessed with the evil-Ozzie myth, and fail to see any good, regardless of how good it is. Compare Katich hobbling bravely through the innings and scoring 45 to Laxman in India recently,the latter being granted BY PONTING a runner for a chronic back injury he carried into the game. That generosity won India the first test (he batted for hours, saving the game they won by 1 wicket), and thus cost Australia the series. I don't expect that fact will appear anywhere in the Indian history books when they recount Ponting's evil career. Instead there will be pages about how a neutral umpire robbed them of a game in which they were thrashed by 130 runs, and were never in a position to win.

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