Aussies recall Katich, rest Martyn for Windies match
by AFP


Ground:Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Event:VB Series 2004/05

DateLine: 25th January 2005

 

Australia are expected to keep faith with out-of-form batsmen Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds, retaining both for the tri-series limited overs match against the West Indies in Adelaide.

 

But elegant batsman Damien Martyn will be rested on Wednesday and replaced by Simon Katich as the world champions fine-tune their team in the lead-up to the best-of-three finals for which they have already qualified.

 

Australia secured their berth with a nine-wicket thrashing of Pakistan in Sydney on Sunday when the only wicket to fall was that of Hayden.

 

The big left-hander, once considered an automatic selection to open the Australian batting in limited-overs matches with the brilliant Adam Gilchrist, is now under increasing pressure from 23-year-old Michael Clarke.

 

Hayden was rested for the first two matches of the tri-series and since returning has made innings of six and 27 -- the latter off a laborious 65 balls in Sunday's match -- while Clarke delivered an unbeaten 103.

 

Katich, who is likely to play only his second one-day international in 11 months, made 38 from 48 balls as an opener in his only tri-series appearance this summer against Pakistan in Hobart.

 

But he is unlikely to be anywhere near the top of the order on Wednesday as Australia attempt to free Hayden and Symonds from their batting blues.

 

The team is considering elevating the hard-hitting Symonds up the order following five ducks in his last six one-day international knocks.

 

Veteran batsman Darren Lehmann said Monday he expected the Australians to persist with the 2003 World Cup hero and predicted the powerful right-hander to end his run of outs shortly.

 

"He is in a bit of a rut, but he is a class player and he will come out of it and the only way he will come out of it is to keep playing," Lehmann said.

 

"I think he will probably bat up the order in the next couple of games and give him a good opportunity to bat for a long period of time, he has had a couple of good balls and played a couple of bad shots.

 

"But you get that in cricket and I am sure he will work through that."

 

Symonds is expected to slot into the absent Martyn's spot at number four with Katich likely to come in at six in front of stand-in wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

 

Vice-captain and first-choice wicketkeeper Gilchrist and Martyn will return to the side for the one-day match against Pakistan in Perth on Sunday.

 

The national selectors have been rotating senior players for the tri-series following a hectic calendar late last year and with a tour of New Zealand coming up next month.

 

Australia's opponent in the finals is yet to be decided with only two points separating Pakistan and the West Indies. Both teams have two matches remaining.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)