Clarke not averse to recalling Katich in Australian team

December 16th, 2011 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 16 (IANS) In a desperate move to shore up the injury-hit, out-of-form Australia Test team, skipper Michael Clarke seems inclined to recalling his estranged team mate Simon Katich.

Katich, 36, was reprimanded by Cricket Australia (CA) for accusing Clarke of conspiring with selectors in getting him axed from the list of central contracts as well as the Test team despite a healthy batting average of 45 in 56 Tests.

The Australian media reported that ironically, Clarke is said to be keen on getting Katich back, according to a report by Channel Nine, which has the television rights for cricket in Australia.

The Australian reported that several names had been mentioned in selection meetings, including Katich’s. However, the selectors were adamant Katich would not play.

Katich’s manager Robert Joske told reporters the player would be “willing, ready and able” to play if called for the Boxing Day Test against India.

“If it’s the fact that Michael is talking about Simon in the selection committee meetings. I’m very excited and I’m sure Simon would be excited when he hears about it,” said Joske.

“The coach and the chairman of selectors both said the door was always open to Simon and probably now is a very good time for him to walk through it.”

Former Australia captain and coach Bob Simpson and opener Matthew Hayden have divergent views on recalling Katich though both agree that he should not have been dropped in the first instance.

While Simpson wanted Katich drafted for the series against India, Hayden — though critical of the selectors for dumping the opener — is opposed to reinstating him.

Simpson, who has helped Katich to reinvent himself, said he would have had him as captain in the first place.

“I think the stage we’re in you need someone like Simon around who has got the respect of all the players to do the job. I have been helping Simon over the years and some people might suggest I’m a bit biased but that’s not what it’s all about — it’s about getting the right person for the job.

“The big problem of having too many youngsters in the side is you haven’t got a fallback situation. You always need the hardheads around to steer the ship.”

Hayden said selectors should be patient with Australia’s struggling batting line-up and a return to the Katich era now would be a mistake.

“It’s a very hard place to really mark your game in Test match cricket as a learning player,” Hayden said.

“Clarke has been the guy that’s probably done it the most successfully, and the Australian selectors were very patient with Michael as well.

“Because of the rapid turnaround of events from one tournament to the next, it is very, very difficult to actually learn and master your game.

“Consolidation right now, and not panicking, is a very important part of the selections strategies. I think Phil (Hughes) is someone who is going to play a lot of Test match cricket for Australia. I think it’s not that far away.”

Katich had accused Clarke of settling scores by axing him from the team for a dressing room bust-up the two had in 2009 wherein he reportedly grabbed the new skipper by the throat. Clarke denied he had any hand in the decision.

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