Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2011/11/14/katich-can-make-peace

Katich can make peace

UPDATED 22 September, 2013 6:21PM AEST | by Adam Lucius, Sportal

The man who may end up acting as peacemaker between Michael Clarke and Simon Katich believes the two men can put their differences aside and again work together in the best interests of Australian cricket.

Simon KatichThe man who may end up acting as peacemaker between Michael Clarke and Simon Katich believes the two men can put their differences aside and again work together in the best interests of Australian cricket.

Rookie NSW skipper Stephen O'Keefe has joined the chorus of support for Katich's return to the national side in the wake of Australia's disgraceful batting performance in Cape Town last week.

For a comeback to be possible, the veteran left-hander and the Australia captain would have to repair their relationship following a very public falling out.

Katich blames a dressing room blow-up with Clarke for bringing about his dumping from Cricket Australia's list of contracted players earlier this year.

While the chances of the gritty opener playing Test cricket again appear remote, O'Keefe is certain Katich and Clarke can bury their feud and line-up in the same side.

As state captain, O'Keefe could well prove pivotal to the two New South Welshmen mending their friendship.

"In some teams guys aren't going to get along or they're going to have their differences," O'Keefe pointed out on Monday.

"But I know if it came down to it and they were playing in the Australian team they'd both be pulling in the same direction and giving their best for that baggy green."

"Michael Clarke and Simon Katich are the ultimate professionals.".

"They go about their business and get their work done."

"That's the way they've always played and that's why one leads their country and one's led their state so brilliantly."

"So if Simon Katich is in good form and there's a position there for him, then let's pick him."

"We know what he's got to offer."

The calls for Katich's return will only lift in volume should he get among the runs against Queensland this week and Australia's batsmen fail again in the second Test in South Africa.

The Blues head to the Gabba under pressure to acquire outright victory after accumulating just two points in three games.

"We've been playing some good cricket but don't have any points to show for it," O'Keefe said.

"It's a big game for us up in Queensland. They are red-hot at the moment so it's important we try and get a result and get back in the mix of the Shield standings."

"Historically, you need around 30 points to get into the Shield final so it's a must-win for us."

Coach Anthony Stuart added: "All sides (apart from Queensland) are playing catch-up at the moment."

"The guys are starting to put some consistent performances with bat and ball together, so it's pointing in the right direction."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 14 November, 2011 3:19PM AEST

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