'Batsmen have made the difference for Aussies'

'Batsmen have made the difference for Aussies'

When Simon Katich played his first match in India in 2004 here at the Chinnaswamy stadium, he was part of a famed Australian side that ruled the game in all formats. The mighty visitors walloped the hosts by 217 runs and went on to win the four-match series 2-1. For a side that was hard to beat in all type of conditions, Australia’s recent show in the sub-continent has been below-par.

Their dismal outings against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates and in Sri Lanka had put Australia under pressure prior to the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Katich said the current Australian side has learnt from their mistakes.

“They have started well in this series and that is because they have learnt their lessons from the Sri Lanka tour. Against Sri Lanka, the bowling was pretty good but the batting let us down. That’s (batting) the big improvement I have seen in this series. The batsmen have taken their time, trusted their defence and haven’t thrown away their wickets. The batting has been the big difference for me,” said Katich, currently working as a radio commentator for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The series defeat to South Africa forced the selectors to bring in new faces, a move Katich termed as bold. “After losing five Tests on the trot they had to do something different. The good thing about Handscomb (Peter) and Renshaw (Matt) getting picked was that they both were in form and they are young,” Katich noted.

The 41-year-old, who made 4188 runs in 56 Tests, was all praise for the promising southpaw Renshaw. “I think he is a very good young prospect. His knock on Sunday was outstanding. He was getting a bit of stick from the crowd but he was just happy to keep batting and get the job done. He is just 20 years old on his first tour to India and against a quality bowling attack, the way he played is impressive,” Katich said.

Despite Australia enjoying a better outing in the first two days in Bengaluru, Katich said he expected India to bounce back. “This morning I thought Australia had the upper hand but India has played really well. They are a quality side and you expect them to fight back,” he said.

The verbal battles have increased the intensity of the game but Katich felt the Australian youngsters are more focused on their jobs. “It’s a younger group and they are still finding their feet. They don’t want to get stuck in the opposition’s head at a young age. They are going to concentrate on their game,” he signed off.
DH News Service

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