Katich confident over fitness
Simon Katich insists he will recover from a fractured thumb in time to line up in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Last Updated: 09/11/10 11:15am
Simon Katich insists he will recover from a fractured thumb in time to line up in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, while Doug Bollinger is also expected to make the squad despite his recent injury problems.
Katich is one of Australia's key batsmen heading into the Ashes, with the left-handed opener scoring 4,091 runs in 54 Tests with ten centuries.
As he continues to recover from his thumb injury, Katich says he will play for New South Wales against Tasmania to prove his fitness for the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on November 25.
"I'm getting there. I'm positive I'll be playing club cricket on the weekend, and then play the Shield game next week, so it's just unfortunately been a slow process," Katich said.
"I'd have to play the Shield game, I'd be very surprised if I was picked without any cricket, I think that'd be probably wrong, given you need some sort of form before a big series like the Ashes."
Left-arm quick Bollinger has played no cricket for over a month due to a stomach strain, but Australia are desperate to get him in the Ashes squad.
Although Bollinger will miss the New South Wales match this week, he should join Katich in the four-day game against Tasmania according to chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.
"We're expecting him to be fit for the first Test," Hilditch said.
"He'll have to get through the Shield game obviously to be considered to make the final line-up, but the intention is he'll come back for that Shield game and we think that is enough.
"We have been pretty conservative with Doug. He's an important player for us so we are giving him maximum time to recover."
Pessimism has descended on Australian fans following a run of seven consecutive defeats, and Katich accepts that all is not well with Ricky Ponting's side.
"This is probably something evident since the Ashes last year," Katich added.
"We'd come off such a great series in South Africa playing some really positive cricket with some great signs, and to probably take a step back on occasions with losing the Ashes and then drawing with Pakistan and then losing in India.
"Those things have made us realise that we're not as on track as we were after that South African series."