Sydney:Opening batsman Simon Katich said Friday Australia still has weaknesses in its batting three months ahead of the Ashes Test opener with England.
Australian batting collapses at the second Lord's Test and the fifth Oval Test lost Ricky Ponting's team the Ashes urn last year, and Katich remains concerned that the pattern has been repeated in subsequent series.
The Australians were skittled out for low scores against West Indies (150) in Perth last year, then against Pakistan (127) in Sydney in January and most recently in July for 88, again by a Pakistani attack at Headingley.
Katich said the problem would linger until the Australian top six batsmen stood up fully to Test-match pressure.
"Being brutally honest, it's still been a problem because it's happened a couple of times since the Ashes last year," Katich told Australian Associated Press.
"Until we can actually rectify that in a match that's going to be still hanging over our heads, and unfortunately you can't replicate it in the nets.
"As much as you try, it's got to happen in Test matches when the pressure is on and there's big crowds there, which is no doubt going to happen during the Ashes this year."
Katich said it was vital to keep the Australian team settled ahead of the first Ashes Test, starting at Brisbane's Gabba ground on November 25.
"Once you string games together if you're playing well, once everyone's playing their roles, there's no doubt it helps the consistency of the team," he said.
"If you've got guys in and out, replacing blokes and in for a Test or two it does definitely change the dynamics."