Katich - I've point to prove
Simon Katich, who admits England fans did not see him at his best in 2005, was delighted after his maiden Ashes hundred.
Last Updated: 09/07/09 10:59pm
Simon Katich admitted he has a point to prove in England after his maiden Ashes hundred helped Australia reach 249-1 at the stumps on day two in Cardiff.
The New South Wales left-hander struggled for runs in the middle order on his previous Ashes tour four years ago but has since reinvented himself as an opener.
And that moved paid off in the Welsh capital as he shared an unbroken 189-run stand with skipper Ricky Ponting to leave the tourists well placed in response to England's 435.
"Batting at the top of the order has probably helped me," said Katich. "When I did get my chance I jumped at it and I have gained confidence from each Test I have managed to string together.
"I have got a point to prove in this series and I know it will be a tough series.
"In the past 12 months I have felt I have a role to play in this team, given that we have lost so many players in the last couple of years, greats of Australian cricket."
Another legend of the Baggy Green brigade, Bobby Simpson, has been Katich's mentor in repairing his career.
"I am thankful to him for giving me the time of day," added Katich. "His help and support has been enormous in getting me back to this stage. That technical help has turned me into a more confident player.
"Last time I was playing a lot differently to how I am playing now. I probably look the same but I have more confidence in hitting the ball straight."
Ponting, who completed his 38th Test hundred from the penultimate delivery of the day, appears in ominous mood.
"You can tell by the way he is going about his business," noted Katich. "He doesn't have to say much.
"Those of us who went through what we did four years ago know how much it hurt."
Katich remains wary of a fightback from England's bowlers on day three, particularly with Andrew Flintoff fit and fired up.
"We know with Freddie, he's going to keep coming at you all day," said Katich. "Whether it's his first, second or third spell you know he going to come hard.
"England look to him for those breakthroughs when nothing is really happening."