Aussies must arrest slide in Ashes series: Katich

Sydney: Australia’s team is not functioning as it should be and must arrest the slide during the Ashes series against England, senior batsman Simon Katich said on Tuesday.

The 54-Test opener said recent poor results against Pakistan in England and India on the subcontinent were proof that all was not going well for the Australian team.

“This is probably something evident since the Ashes last year,” Katich told reporters.

“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.”

Pessimism gripped fans and pundits as Australia strung together a losing sequence of seven international matches in all forms of the game, with a recent poll of fans expecting England to retain the Ashes down under.

Katich argued that all would have been different with a Test victory in India, something the Australians were just one wicket away from achieving in the first Mohali Test last month.

“We’re a little bit frustrated, because I think it could’ve been such a different outcome for us,” he said.

“If we’d come away from that series with a 1-1 result I think that would’ve been quite a positive result, even though you haven’t won.

“If we’d come away with that result we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in at the moment where there’s probably a lot more negativity around the team, but that’s what happens when you lose.”

Katich, recovering from a thumb fracture suffered while playing in India, said he expected to play for New South Wales against Tasmania to prove his fitness for the opening Ashes Gabba Test from 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,” he 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-hander Katich is one of Australia’s key batsmen heading into the Ashes with 4,091 Test runs at 45.97 and the scorer of 10 hundreds.

Bureau Report