Australia’s Marcus Harris has opened up on the gratitude he has amid the huge show of faith from the national selection panel, which last month backed him in for the Ashes opener despite his grim Test record.
The 29-year-old averages only 23.77 from 10 Tests and is yet to score a ton, but that didn’t stop Australia’s selection panel, chaired by former T20 international captain George Bailey, from locking in Harris as David Warner‘s opening partner for the Brisbane fixture.
When Harris and Warner walk out to bat against England in the first Test, set to begin next Wednesday, they’ll be back on the same patch of turf on which a heavily understrength India stunned Australia in a three-wicket win in January.
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There will likely only be one change from the side that lost to India in the fourth Test, with either Travis Head or Usman Khawaja set to replace the axed Matthew Wade in the middle order – and Harris says he’s thankful for his hotly debated retention.
“It’s been really good, the communication between ‘Bails’ (Bailey) and ‘Dodes’ (selection member Tony Dodemaide) and obviously ‘JL’ (coach Justin Langer), as well,” Harris said on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“You can’t guarantee anything for a professional sportsperson, but just to have some clarity around what I’m doing and having their support just puts your mind at rest.”
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Harris’ Ashes selection was likely helped by an innings of 134 in the Sheffield Shield in October, in a match between Victoria and NSW at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval.
That knock followed a stint with Leicestershire in English county cricket, which saw the left-hander compile 655 runs at 54.58, including three centuries, from eight matches.
“I’m hoping and I’m trying my best to repay the faith (the selectors have) put in me,” Harris said.
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“It’s a good position to be in as a cricketer, as a sportsperson – to have clarity and backing from the people that pick the team.
“I’m just now looking forward to getting out there and getting on with it.”
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