Melbourne, Oct 2 : In a selection surprise Simon Katich has been preferred to his fellow left hander Phil Jacques to open the batting in the four-day tour match against a Board Presidents XI today in Hyderabad.
Katch, 33, scored hundreds in his previous two Tests filling in as an opening batsman for an injured Matthew Hayden during the West Indies tour in May and June.
The New South Wales captain top-scored with 73 during a low-key warm-up match in Jaipur last weekend but later claimed that he expected to be the reserve batsman during this four-Test series.
Jaques missed the match in Jaipur with a minor back complaint, Fox Sports reported.
Katich's good form, coupled with an ability to bowl occasional left-arm wrist spin has finally seen the often-unlucky batsman receive a break in his stop-start Test career.
He has taken 12 wickets in 26 wickets at the flattering average of 33.83 thanks to a career best of 6-65 against Zimbabwe during just his second Test five years ago.
Katich's experience has also weighed in his favour. He is also one of just four current Australians to have previously played a Test in India along with Ricky Ponting, Hayden and Michael Clarke,
Jaques, 29, can consider himself unlucky after scoring a century in his last Test innings, 108 against the West Indies in Barbados in June.
The prolific New South Welshman, was an automatic selection to replace the retired Justin Langer at the top of the order last season, having previously played two Tests as an injury replacement.
He scored hundreds in both Tests against Sri Lanka to start the summer.
Story first published: Thursday, October 2, 2008, 11:22 [IST]
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