Katich set to replace Hayden - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Katich set to replace Hayden

By Jim Morton 09/12/2004 09:00:06 PM Comments (0)

Test reject Simon Katich is poised to make his return to international cricket in the crunch limited-overs match against New Zealand at the Gabba.

Katich looms as a likely starter for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy decider with opener Matthew Hayden ruled out with a strained hamstring.

Hayden was assessed by Australian team physiotherapist Errol Allcott in Brisbane and the national selectors decided to rest Hayden ahead of the coming Pakistan Test series.

The left-hander tweaked his left hamstring when he lunged for a sharp catch at slip to dismiss Mathew Sinclair off Jason Gillespie.

Australian chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns hoped the decision to leave Hayden out of the team would mean the towering opener would be ready for next week's Test opener in Perth.

"Having consulted with team physio Errol Alcott, we feel that its in Matthew's best interests to sit out the match, so as to not risk further injury," said Hohns.

"With so much cricket on the horizon, including the first Test against Pakistan less than a week away, were not keen to take any chances with him."

Katich, who missed Test selection last month after an impressive tour of India, has not played in the three-match one-day series to date.

The fact he opens for state side NSW and has been in good form in recent weeks increases the likelihood he will be a straight swap for Hayden at the top of the order.

Damien Martyn and Darren Lehmann have both been used to good success in the past and will also be considered for the role.

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