Katich gears up to strengthen Australian attack

June 7th, 2008 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 7 (IANS) Australian opener Simon Katich is ready to work on his latent spin skills to strengthen the team’s depleted bowling attack after Stuart MacGill’s retirement. Katich’s left-arm chinamen were once a common feature in Test cricket, but a knuckle injury to his spinning hand has limited his contributions to batting since the 2005 Ashes series.

But with Australian attack exposed in the first two Test against the West Indies, Katich said he would welcome the opportunity to shoulder more bowling responsibilities, thus taking a degree of pressure off young spinner Beau Casson.

“Ricky (Ponting) threw me the ball in the tour match, and they came out ok,” Katich told the Sydney Morning Herald, referring to the game against the Jamaican Select XI, during which he claimed an impressive 6-66.

“It was nice to get that opportunity. I always bowl in the nets so I will keep practising and see what happens. I have found myself bowling more often when I’m not captain. When I was playing club cricket in Sydney this year, I was bowling quite a bit,” Katich said.

The departure of MacGill may lead Katich to assume a more important role within the Test team. Already, Ponting has foreshadowed the likelihood of Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds taking on added spinning responsibilities, and Katich, with a record of 12 wickets at 33.83 in Test cricket, can expect to follow suit.

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