Katich to open in Bangalore Test, hints Nielsen

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Hyderabad, Oct 3 (UNI) Australian coach Tim Nielsen said the left-handed batsman Simon Katich, who was preferred over Phil Jacques in the practise match against Board President's XI can also be a choice as Matthew Hayden's partner to open the innings in the first Test at Banglore.

''Mainly the selectors thought that Katto (Simon Katich) and Jaquesy (Phil Jacques) pretty much had a bat-off in the West Indies,'' Nielsen said.

''We didn't picture it that way at the time, but they thought Katto was playing extremely well,'' he added.

Katich, who was all along being considered as the reserve batsman in the team, has said to have clinched the place by scoring back-to-back hundreds in Australia's last Test series against the West Indies.

''He made hundreds in Antigua and Barbados, the last couple of Tests of the series, he's come off a stellar summer in Australia and is in such good form that they just thought he may have edged himself in front of Jaquesy as the second choice opening batsman behind Matthew,'' he said.

Neelsen further added that ''It's a nice position to be in when you've got three quality opening batsmen, unfortunately three doesn't go into two, so the choice they made was to go with Simon this time.'' Nielsen also said that the Katich's left-arm wrist spin will be an added advantage for the team.

''It's just the whole package,'' he said. ''Katto can bowl spinners if we need him to.'' UNI XC RKM RAI1210

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