Sunday, July 14, 2024

Ashes 2023: Whenever it comes up; I’ll be ready to go, says Marcus Harris on featuring in Australia XI

Australia opener Marcus Harris said he is ‘ready to go’ if he’s given a chance to play in the remaining two matches of the ongoing Ashes 2023 series in Old Trafford and The Oval.

Harris’ last outing in first-class cricket was in mid-May, where he struck 122 not out for Gloucestershire in a County Championship match against Durham and has been with the Australian team since the World Test Championship final in June as a back-up specialist opener.

Since Australia’s three-wicket defeat to England in the third Ashes at Headingley, there has been chatter around David Warner making way for Harris at Old Trafford.

In the 2019 Ashes, Harris made only 58 runs in six innings, though he feels he’s much more experienced now in adapting to the rigours of an away Ashes series.

“I have been exposed to a lot more conditions. Since then I have been to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and played three county seasons here. Being an overseas pro to county teams is a different experience to playing Shield cricket. I just feel more well-rounded.

That series taught me a lot in 2019. At the time it didn’t seem good, but I have probably benefited from it in the long haul. I feel like I am ready to go whenever that chance comes. Whether that is this tour or not, so be it. I am in a good place mentally and with life. Whenever it comes up, I’ll be ready to go,” Harris was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

At the same time, Harris praised Warner, the left-handed opener, for stitching three fifty-plus stands in the Ashes with fellow left-hander Usman Khawaja. Warner had announced his intention to retire from Tests after playing in the Sydney Test against Pakistan in January 2024.

“Davey’s earned the right to pull the pin whenever he wants to pull the pin and he’s done well this series. England’s not an easy place to open the batting and him and Uz have got us off to some good starts. So if I have to wait until then, so be it. But if something comes up earlier, I’m ready to go. Davey’s obviously a bit of a lightning rod for opinion,” Harris said.

“Even if you’re not getting the big runs that you want to get, if you can still contribute to the team in some way, shape or form, I think you’re doing a job. But that’s coming from an opening batter so I’m probably biased towards that,” he concluded.

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