x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Injury scare for Katich

The Australian opener suffered a shoulder injury that kept him from batting in domestic action a week before the Ashes.

Simon Katich, the Australian opener, suffered a shoulder injury that kept him from batting as his fellow Test squad batsmen struggled in domestic action yesterday, just over a week before the start of the Ashes.

Katich, returning to first-class cricket action after a thumb injury he sustained on the recent tour of India, made one run for New South Wales in a state match before hurting himself in the field and failing to come out to open the second innings.

"He dived in the field and jarred up his shoulder," Alex Kountouris, the Australia team physio, told the Cricket Australia website.

"It was quite painful, as they are. He's in (the dressing room) icing up.

"It's always a worry but it doesn't look to be a serious injury. If he wakes up tomorrow morning and can't lift his arm it would be a worry but I'm not expecting that to happen.

"I expect he will be OK."

Although Australia's 17-man squad for the first Ashes test announced on Monday contained plenty of cover for mid-order batsmen, young opener Phil Hughes was a mildly surprising omission.

Meanwhile, Chris Tremlett is hopeful that a good start to the tour match with Australia A, which began yesterday in Hobart, will give him the chance to be in England's side for the opening Test against Australia in Brisbane, which starts next Thursday.

He took four wickets on the opening day of the four-day Tour match and said: "All you can do is when you get your opportunity, try your hardest and you never know; you might have put your name in the hat.

"Getting some wickets builds your confidence, and if my opportunity does come along, my confidence will be high."

England bowled out Australia A for 230, with Tremlett the pick of the bowling with figures of four for 54, though they were frustrated by Steve Smith (59) and Steve O'Keefe (66) in the latter stages of the innings.

Smith, the leg-spinner who is in Australia's 17-man squad, saw weaknesses in England's bowling.

"At stages England bowled a little bit too short, they didn't make me drive all that much," he said.

"They probably can learn from that in the second innings. But it was good to get out there and get a few runs under my belt."

England will resume on 22 for one this morning after captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed for 10 before the close.

* Agencies