Katich - Hughes can bounce back

Australian backs opening partner to come good in first Ashes Test

Last Updated: 05/07/09 6:36pm

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Katich: Backed Hughes

Katich: Backed Hughes

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Australia's Simon Katich has backed opening partner Phil Hughes to bounce back in the first Ashes Test after his recent disappointment against the England Lions.

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The 20-year-old left-hander was twice dismissed cheaply by a short-pitched assault from Steve Harmison during the drawn match at Worcester.

It was not the ideal preparation ahead of this week's Ashes Test, but Katich believes the youngster has the character to bounce back and play a major innings at Cardiff.

He said: "The South Africans did that in South Africa and obviously he had a lot of success there.

Good balls

"Unfortunately the other day he got a couple of good balls and that happens at the top of the order.

"He didn't do a huge amount wrong in the second innings - the ball just kept on coming back at him and I think he will go away in the next few days and sort out what he has to do to counter that.

"There's no doubt that England will come at him with those plans after seeing it happen last week in Worcester, but I'm sure he's good enough and his temperament is good enough for him to withstand that battle."

Despite Harmison claiming six wickets against Australia, the Durham paceman was over-looked for the first Test, with selectors instead keeping faith with county team-mate Graham Onions, who took three wickets for the Lions.

Weren't surprised

Katich said: "We weren't really surprised. He had a very good match last week and bowled beautifully, but at the same time Graham Onions has done a pretty good job for them.

"I think their selectors knew what they wanted and have picked accordingly, but I thought both of them bowled well against us last week and it's a long Test series so anything can happen."

The 2005 Ashes series began at Lord's but this time Cardiff plays host to the opener, despite having yet to stage a Test of any description.

Katich commented: "I think it's great to be part of history, it's the first Test in Cardiff all of our guys are just looking forward to embracing that and we will get to Lord's next week anyway.

"I guess there probably is a little bit of anticipation and I guess that air of the unexpected of not knowing what the wicket is going to be like because there's not been Test played here in the past - all we can go on is results in county cricket."

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