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Harris has game for Ashes if picked

Marcus Harris had the chance to break Australia's Test century drought and all but lock himself in for the Ashes, but fell for 79 against India at the SCG.

Harris has game for Ashes if picked

Marcus Harris had the chance to break Australia's Test century drought and all but lock himself in for the Ashes, but fell for 79 against India at the SCG.

MARCUS HARRIS of Victoria bats during the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Victoria at WACA in Perth, Australia.
MARCUS HARRIS of Victoria bats during the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Victoria at WACA in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Marcus Harris is confident his game will be in good order for this year's Ashes series if selected, as the status of Australia's openers for the headline tour remains up in the air.

Harris appeared poised to become Australia's first centurion of the series against India on Saturday in Sydney before chopping a Ravindra Jadeja delivery onto his stumps shortly after lunch when on 79.


A maiden century for Harris on the flat SCG track would have all but locked him in for the upcoming England tour, but he still remains the front-runner to open in the iconic series.

His'256 runs in his debut series included two half-centuries and his average of 36.57 is well above Cameron Bancroft's average of 25.57, which was enough to keep him in the side after last summer's Ashes.

"You always want to make hundreds and I haven't done that yet," Harris said.

"Things have felt like they've been going pretty well. I've got a start in every game.

"I obviously haven't got a hundred but to at least be out there and spend time in the middle every game has been satisfying."

The left-hander looked comfortable until his dismissal on Saturday, offering only one other chance off Jadeja as he otherwise used his feet well against the Indian spinners.

Harris has two more Tests against Sri Lanka to push his claims for the Ashes, with the Sri Lankan matches likely to influence the make-up of Australia's batting order going forward.

"We've still got an innings and another Test series to play before the Ashes is even to be worried about," Harris said.

"There is still a bit of work to do but my game feels in good order ... I feel like I have been batting really well."

Usman Khawaja's match-saving 141 against Pakistan in the UAE was the lone three-figure score from an Australian opener in 10 Tests in 2018, an indication David Warner will likely return once his ban expires.

The selectors' decision to not give Queensland opener Joe Burns a chance to replace Aaron Finch in Sydney is perhaps further proof Warner is seen as the answer.

Burns has averaged 52.04 in his last two Sheffield Shield seasons and played his last Test in Johannesburg after being sent to South Africa to replace Warner and Bancroft following the ball-tampering saga.

Bancroft is also available for selection again, and will have four Shield games against the Duke ball to press his case at the end of the summer.

Finch appears completely out of the top-order equation after being dropped from the side following the Boxing Day Test, though he does lead the one-day side.

AAP


AAP




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