Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Marcus Harris confident of reversing Ashes fortunes. Harris believes the conditions in Australia could help him
Harris believes the conditions in Australia could help him
Early intimation from selector George Bailey that Marcus Harris will partner David Warner for the upcoming Ashes has pleased the Victoria opener, who is banking on his domestic form to get the better of the England bowlers. Harris, who managed only 58 runs at an average of 9.66 in the six innings that he batted in the 2018 Ashes in England, believes that the different lengths that the bowlers will have to employ on the Australian pitches would make it better for the batters “to line them up”.
Harris has worked with Victoria coach Chris Rogers on countering the around the wicket tactics that the England pacers used against him last time, and the outcome of that is 1631 runs at an average of 50.96 in the 2020-21 Australia season, with six centuries.
“In England the length that they can bowl is a bit different to Australia,” Harris said on Wednesday (November 24). “They can probably bowl a little bit shorter and still hit the top of the stumps in England, which obviously brings in lbw and bowleds. That's what the challenge was over there and the Dukes ball that summer was moving around a lot. They're going to have to bowl a different length in Australia. The wickets you would say are probably more batter-friendly in Australia, so it can sometimes be – I wouldn't say easier – but better to line them up, especially to the left-handers around the wicket.
“It's still going to be a challenge for us because at the Gabba the ball moves a fair bit and bounces a lot so but I think they're probably going to have to bowl a bit fuller. There are things that I've probably been working on ever since that Ashes series trying to combat it,” said Harris.
Following another blow to the head for Will Pucovski, Bailey endorsed Harris as Warner's partner for the Ashes. The 28-year-old opener said he had a good conversation with Bailey before the Sheffield Shield season and mentioned that clear communication from the selector has helped ease his mind ahead of an important series such as the Ashes.
“I had a good chat with (Bailey) and it was just good to have some clear communication with a selector about what I was doing, what was in their minds and what was in their thinking for me. I think it's good for your confidence as a player to know where you stand and having the backing of (selectors) is really good. That was really good to have that from Bails. It puts your mind at ease a little bit. Your mind can wander coming into a big series like the Ashes with the amount of attention that's brought to it. So to not have to worry about that for probably a month leading into the first game is pretty good,” Harris said.
Like Harris, Warner was also troubled by the around the wicket angle in the last Ashes, where he averaged 9.50 in 10 innings. But Harris isn't dwelling on the numbers of the last Ashes, and instead chose to focus on the 89-run opening stand he forged with Warner against India earlier this year in Brisbane.
“David brings a lot of energy to the crease and to the partnership. Obviously, for a long period of time, he's dominated world cricket. So he takes a lot of pressure off, you don't feel any pressure to score. I know we had a tough series over in England but in the second innings against India we put on 80 or 90. Anytime you can play with another player that takes a lot of pressure off you it makes your job a bit easier. Hopefully we can forge something pretty good – we'll get through this summer first – but over the next period of time,” Harris said.
Harris, meanwhile, backed Paine to get through the tough times brought about by the sexting scandal which led to the wicketkeeper-batter stepping down as Test captain.
“People were a bit shocked [but] we've got a lot of good leaders around our group. So it's not ideal, but someone's going to have to step up and, lead from the front and there's plenty of people that can do that job. Painey will still be around and can still show leadership in many different ways. We're looking forward to getting into camp and get on with it.
“Tim's obviously been a great leader around the group. He's always been really good to me and my family. Our hearts went out to Tim and [wife] Bonnie, the kids and his family. Knowing Painey and his character, he's a pretty strong and resilient bloke. If anyone can get through it, I'm backing Painey to. He's done a really good job in the last few years, under tough circumstances.”