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Katich resolve stoked by 2005 Ashes flop

"If you had told me after the 2005 series that I would be back four years later I would have laughed," Katich told Reuters.

The last time Simon Katich
played a Test series in England, Australia lost and he subsequently
spent three years out of the team.

 

Four years on, Katich is back as a key member of the national side with an added determination to succeed.

 

Katich,
33, who has since reinvented himself as an opener, batted at number six
for four of the five Tests in 2005 when England won the Ashes for the
first time in 18 years. He scored just 248 runs at a meagre 27.55.

 

"If you had told me after the 2005 series that I would be back four years later I would have laughed," Katich told Reuters.

 

"And having got dropped soon after I guess there would be a few people who would have agreed."

 

"It
was probably a good thing for me to get out of that environment and go
away, work on things and enjoy my cricket to help me fight my way back.

 

"Part
of me knew there was a chance it could all be over because you never
know if an opportunity will come again. I certainly didn't want to go
out on that note and part of me knew that if I went out and tried to
make a heap of runs you never know."

 

EXPERIENCE PAYS

 

One
thing that gave left-hander Katich hope of a recall was the fact
Australian selectors had a record for going back to experienced
players, even if they had been out of the team for a prolonged period.
Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn all enjoyed their best
years after being dropped.

 

Katich received his second chance when
Hayden was injured on the 2008 West Indies tour. Although he was more
accustomed to the number three spot, he knew the chance to replace
Hayden as opener was his way back and he has since played the past 15 Tests.

 

"I guess it was pure luck it turned out that way," Katich
said. "I was asked if I wanted to open and I said I would jump at the
chance.

 

"I had batted most of my first-class career at three so
it probably suited me better than in the middle-order when you can sit
around waiting to go in."

 

In those 15 Tests Katich has plundered
five centuries. His form and the emergence of new opening partner
Phillip Hughes meant the promising Phil Jaques was not even offered an
annual contract by Cricket Australia for 2009-10.

 

Katich now regards 2005 and the subsequent time out of the side as a blessing.

 

"It
gave me a different appreciation," he said. "Not that I ever took
playing for Australia for granted but having a couple of years out of
it, it does make you appreciate it more when you are in it.

 

"In
the downtime after the 2005 Ashes I just knew that every time I went
out to bat I had to make the most of it. You just don't know if a
couple of low scores are around the corner so having been through that
it helps me to make the most of everything."

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