Katich’s Test XI: New role for Finch in top-four shuffle
FORMER Test opener Simon Katich has called for Peter Handscomb to be recalled to the Australian side for next month's series opener against India.
Handscomb didn't travel to the UAE with the squad for the recent series against Pakistan, and hasn't played a Test since the Johannesburg match in March.
But he's been staking a claim for being reinstated with some impressive Sheffield Shield performances. He's returned scores of 27, 48, and 123 for Victoria in the past month.
Australia begins its home Test series in Adelaide on December 6 and Katich wants Handscomb to be there in the Baggy Green.
"Potentially Pete Handscomb could for his way back in after a good one-day series and Sheffield Shield scores," Katich said.
"He's worked hard on his technique with Chris Rogers and he's got consistent runs here in Australia.
"I think he has to be someone who puts his hand up and bats in the top four."
Katich's ideal top five is an intriguing one.
He says the top four should be any order of Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Renshaw and Shaun Marsh.
Khawaja only has to recover from injury to be picked, while Marsh did his chances of selection no harm with a stunning ODI century against South Africa in the game three loss.
Katich has left the big-hitting Aaron Finch in the side but bumped him from opener down to No.5 in the batting order.
"For me, if Usman Khawaja is fit, he opens. I know he's probably going to want to bat at three, but in this team, the big question for me is that engine room," Katich said.
"From four downwards, we can sort of put together a team that we know in Australian conditions should be able to bat well.
"For me, it's that top three. The hard part is there's so many combinations at the moment.
"Aaron Finch did so well in the UAE, however those conditions are so different to Australia.
"To me, he's probably an ideal number five in Australian conditions. Now, whether they're going to have the luxury of doing that, that's another matter.
"Matt Renshaw is starting to put his hand up, he got a good 80-odd last week and he really needs to get runs in these next two games to make sure he forces his way into that Test team."
SIMON KATICH'S TEST TEAM
Mitchell Marsh or Marcus Stoinis