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Katich pressing hard to secure place in the Australian side

Hyderabad, Oct 2 (UNI) Simon Katich is all set to be a shock selection in next week's first Test against India after he elbowed Phil Jacques out of Australia's match against the Indian Board President's XI here today.

The 33-year-old Katich arrived in India as the reserve batsman but his strong form in the West Indies this year where garnered 319 runs at 63.80, with two centuries, coupled with his handy left-arm wrist-spin, could well give him a place in Australian team.

Shane Watson is in doubt for next week's Test after remaining in bed today with a chest virus, and was replaced in the team by Victorian fast bowler Peter Siddle.

Katich and Jacques had opened through the Caribbean tour when Matthew Hayden was injured, but the veteran Queenslander is now fit.

Jacques failed to play in last weekend's scratch-match against the Rajasthan Cricket Academy because of a stiff back but was declared fit for today's tour match.

Meanwhile, Katich was in superb touch in Jaipur, top-scoring with 73 off 105 balls with 10 boundaries and after that innings he said he expected to be the reserve batsman through the tour, but the selectors could well change their minds.

Jacques had a modest home series against India last summer, averaging 34.71, although it would have been more prosperous had he been able to build on three half-centuries.

The absence of the suspended Andrew Symonds has forced Australia to look for other part-time spinning options which Katich can provide.

He has scored 1579 runs at 39.47 in 26 Tests with four centuries. He also has 12 wickets at 33.83, with a best haul of 6 for 65 against Zimbabwe at the SCG.


Story first published: Thursday, October 2, 2008, 13:05 [IST]
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