Age is just a state of mind, feels ‘ageing’ Katich

Zeecric Bureau

Melbourne: As Simon Katich turns 35 on Saturday, the star Australian batsman feels that age has never been a factor for him on the field and will never bother about it till the time he continues to play well.

The Australia cricket team will feature three batsmen above the age of 35, namely Katich, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, when they tour India in October, and play the Ashes in November.

Katich, who has been Australia’s most consistent batsman over the past year, however, feels that it is the attitude of the player that is important and not his age.

“There’s a fair bit being made of that and you can’t hide from the fact that there are going to be three of us over 35 in the top four or five,” Katich told the Australian.

“From my point of view I know I’m older but at the same time I’m as hungry as I’ve ever been. I’m enjoying playing cricket again and my attitude has been the same for the last two or three years.”

Katich, who made a come back into the team in 2008, said he did not plan his tenure in the game. “But at the same time I’m not going to think, ‘just because I’m 35 it’s over’, because the last three years of my career have been the best,” he said.

“As soon as you start assuming things because of your age you start worrying about the wrong things.”

Katich will be playing a two-match Test series in India before heading back Down Under for the Ashes. “I’m confident with us playing in Australia, we know our conditions well and we’re looking forward to playing at home,” he said. “Hopefully that will hold us in good stead, but anything can happen.”

Even though captain Ricky Ponting might consider it less than ideal but Katich feels playing a Test series in India could actually be good preparation for the Ashes.

“There’s no ideal situation and you have to get used to it as a player, so we’ve got to adapt as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We’re playing Test cricket, so if that’s not going to be a good enough preparation for us to play a tough series against England, then I don’t know what is,” Katich told ‘Australian Associated Press’.

The five-Test Ashes series begins on November 25 in Brisbane and Australia will play two Tests against India in October.

Ponting is not too happy with the timing of the India series as he feels playing on the spin-friendly Indian wickets would hamper the team’s Ashes preparations.

Katich, however, expressed concerns about Australia’s frequent batting collapses and said the problem could cost the team dearly during the Ashes.

“Being brutally honest, it’s still been a problem because it’s happened a couple of times since the Ashes last year,” Katich said.

“Until we can actually rectify that in a match, that’s going to be still hanging over our heads, and unfortunately you can’t replicate it in the nets. As much as you try, it’s got to happen in test matches when the pressure is on,” he added.

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