Sydney: Australia opener Simon Katich suffered a shoulder injury that kept him from batting as his fellow test squad batsmen struggled in domestic action on Wednesday, just over a week before the start of the Ashes.
Katich, returning to first class cricket action after a thumb injury he sustained on the recent tour of India, made one run for New South Wales before hurting himself in the field and failing to come out to open the second innings.
“He dived in the field and jarred up his shoulder,” Australia team physio Alex Kountouris told the Cricket Australia website (www.cricket.com.au).
“It was quite painful, as they are. He’s in (the dressing room) icing up.
“It’s always a worry but it doesn’t look to be a serious injury. If he wakes up tomorrow morning and can’t lift his arm it would be a worry but I’m not expecting that to happen.
“I expect he will be okay.”
Although Australia’s 17-man squad for the first Ashes test announced on Monday contained plenty of cover for mid-order batsmen, young opener Phil Hughes was a mildly surprising omission. Selectors had hoped to use this week’s Sheffield Shield action and the Australia A match against England to help them slim down their squad for the first test in Brisbane starting on Nov. 25.
There was precious little to aid their considerations on the batting side on Wednesday, however, as both the experienced test players and young pretenders had poor days.
Mike Hussey was caught out by his brother David for a duck and his Western Australia team mate and fellow middle order batsman Marcus North made just 17 against Victoria in Melbourne.
Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja, the uncapped batting duo in the squad to put pressure on them, fared little better for Australia A and managed just seven and 13 respectively against England’s second string bowlers.
Wickets tumbled all day at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the match between New South Wales and Tasmania.
Katich’s test opening partner Shane Watson also struggled, managing just six first innings runs with Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin adding 10 as New South Wales were bowled out for a paltry 97.
Test skipper Ricky Ponting then hit seven runs as Tasmania lumbered past the hosts’ total to finish on 125 all out.