The Investec Ashes 2013 June 19, 2013

Harris fit for his defining Ashes series

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Ryan Harris will make his return to the bowling crease in Australia A's match against Gloucestershire in Bristol on Friday, as he steels himself for an Ashes campaign that looms as the defining moment of his international career.

After a carefully managed recovery from an Achilles complaint that forced him home early from the IPL, Harris yearns to make a lasting impression in the 10 Tests against England, and is equally bullish about the quality of Australia's pace bowling resources.

A much admired figure in Australian cricket, Harris has been interrupted by injury at too many junctures of his late blooming career, but the repeated setbacks have not dimmed his desire to contribute as a high class new-ball bowler, nor his value to the team when fit. At 33, he will also bring valuable experience and perspective to an Australian dressing room that has shown increasing signs of dysfunction over recent months, ever since Michael Hussey's decision to follow Ricky Ponting into retirement.

"I'm looking forward to playing and can't wait to get out there and get back into bowling, not Twenty20 style bowling but proper bowling, and getting into good spells," Harris said in Bristol. "Hopefully bowling 20-30 overs would be nice. Leaving India wasn't ideal, but getting home and getting the treatment I needed, the Achilles actually reacted really well to treatment, so coming over here and being able to bowl lots and lots of balls in the nets has been great. In saying that I've just about had a gut-full of that, I'm ready to bowl in games.

"In regards to my rehab, this is the reason why you have to get through and get back and rehab and do all the stuff. I wanted to be here in an Ashes series in England, and I want to play the one in Australia if things go to plan.

"They're the things that keep you going. And love of playing the game as well that's what's keeps you going. 'You're a long time retired,' that's what I keep being told, so there are a lot of gym sessions and stuff where I woke up in the morning and didn't want to go but had to go, had to get strong. This is the reason why - I wanted to be here for the Ashes."

A handsome record of 47 wickets at 23.63 from 12 Tests is one of the major reasons the national selectors, aware that his best is close to irresistible, have kept faith with Harris. Moving the ball both ways at high pace and with a skidding trajectory, Harris has earned occasional comparisons with the likes of Dale Steyn and James Anderson. The latter is leader of a formidable England attack, but Harris had no qualms rating Australia's pacemen in similar terms, noting their growth together as a unit.

"I wouldn't say he's the benchmark," Harris said of Anderson. "He's consistent and been so over the past couple of years, which puts him up there as one of the best in the world and he probably deserves that title. But our attack, we've got a very good attack if not better. We've got good pace and when the boys get it right we've got good consistency. James Pattinson has come back, he's been bowling unbelievably well and fast during the trial games.

"Peter Siddle's doing the same, Mitchell Starc he's another one - he's come back from injury and if he goes anywhere near what he was doing last summer, which I'm hoping, [Alastair] Cook will find it very tough facing him with those big thunderbolts going away from him. Our attack is suited for these conditions and we've got one of the best attacks in the world over here.

"The camaraderie [among the bowlers] is excellent. We're all good mates. If we have to rest someone or if someone does go down, touch wood they don't, but the guy who is stepping in can do the same sort of job. We've spent a lot of time together so we know each other very well. We hang out and eat dinner together and talk about the game together which is really good. I think it's a really healthy relationship."

As for a rash of dire predictions about Australia's likely performance in the series, Harris said recent form had given observers little else to conclude. But he was forthright in his belief that Australia's best would be good enough, and that the team was preparing as meticulously as possible for the task at hand.

"We're not worried about that sort of stuff we're going to cop that we haven't played good cricket in the past six months. We know that," he said. "We're here to play good cricket, that's why the Australia A team have been here, the Champions Trophy boys have had enough training in these conditions. We came here and acclimatised to these conditions early and that's all we can do. If we go out there and don't play our best cricket, we'll get beaten. If we play our best cricket we'll win."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricket_Froth on June 19, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Harris' fitness and presence is a significant boost for Australia. There's no doubt that our strength is fast bowling at the moment. The batting is clearly a weak point, meaning we probably won't score enough runs to pick and give a leg spinner the license they need to toss it up and have a real go. So pace and protective finger spin is likely. The problem we face with our pace bowlers is picking the right ones at the right times. It's almost easier to manage if you have 3 clear choices, but we don't. We have 5 formidable options in the squad and some other all-rounder pace options. If managed - and selected correctly - Australia's pace bowling could just provide a sliver of hope in the Ashes series', but if the selectors and leadership fail to manage this top class resource well, we risk squandering it and our hopes of Ashes glory.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 23, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    The sub headline for this article reads "ready for "proper bowling" against gloucestershire" ......... Does anyone know when that's gonna happen?

  • rajkothari14 on June 22, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    This time around its very clear that there is bit of concern in batting department. England do have an upper hand to win the ashes 2-1. They have a good team.

    Cowan and Warner need to build 100+ partnerships regularly. For Hughes i think this may be the last series or else he will be dropped.In spin department it should be Lyon and not Doherty because he is more suitable for ODI.

    Good luck to both the teams

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @Moppa... I have no probs with Patto "but" he breaks down regularly & has cost us games, if anything his injury record is no better than Harris - so I wouldn't have Watto, Harris, Pattinson all together in the same team as its inviting problems... Thats why I'd drop Watto to have Harris & Siddle opening with experience against Eng, then Bird, Patto/Faulkner as the 2nd string bowlers. Starc I like but is too wayward & at times shows his nerves too much, so I'd prefer Faulkner as the lefty option. In regards to Landl, you obviously haven't read his comms on Oz from years ago - not much different to FFL today at times - its actually quite funny in that he changed his attitude after repeated replies by me, so if he wonders back to his old past I'm here to remind him...

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer "@zenboomerang next time u reply to others' comments , do it only after reading that comment twice" + "if u want , criticise his fitness , but respect the fact that he is the best bowler"...

    Gee, you seem very misguided - I said "His fitness has never been an issue" yet you claim it is a problem... Perhaps trying to read my comms better you will add to your understanding to other comms by everyone ;) ...

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 22, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @ TheBigBoodha, post match analysis is all well and good. Whether or not Australia rest players or who they select as bowlers is up to them. The facts remain that you were 44/6, and you lost the game heavily, and the series 1-0. An Aus win in Adelaide would have meant a drawn series, not a series win for Australia. As I said previously, Australia has good bowlers. Your batting is where you fall down. Realistically, if you picked a top 7 batting line up from England & Australia would you pick anyone other than Clarke from Australia? If so, who?

  • landl47 on June 21, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    @shaggy076: I can't see any issue with Pattinson bowling 18 overs a day either, provided you want him to bowl at 135-140kph. Of course, given that he's not a swing bowler, he won't take many wickets at that pace.

    If you want him to bowl 145-150kph (and I would if I was his captain) he can't do it for18 overs a day without breaking down.

  • TheBigBoodha on June 21, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    @oscoli67, Steyn and Morkel must be pretty ordinary if they cannot take wickets anywhere in AUS but Perth. Pattinson and co had no such trouble. Maybe you forgot that AUS changed their ENTIRE fast bowling lineup for that game. I wonder how SA would have gone if they'd done the same? And AUS only had three bowlers most of the Adelaide test, and still totally out bowled SA. Who wins test matches with 3 bowlers in Adelaide? Faf was given out twice in Adelaide, reviewed and was saved by the skin of his teeth in one LBW decision. That's how lose SA were to losing that series.

  • First_Drop on June 21, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    @Hammond....though I agree with the injury concerns, you described Harris as a 'medium pacer'?? I've seen him bowl consistently at 95mph. Nowadays, he hovers around 90mph - not quite express (though he is capable of it) but way faster than medium pace.

  • Beertjie on June 21, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    @landl47 on (June 21, 2013, 1:35) I don't think you're being reasonable at all! Given a first day pitch of normal play I'd think Patto could bowl 17 quick overs taking a second new ball for 5 overs. Harris could do likewise. Siddle/Bird are well capable of bowling morning, post- lunch and post-tea spells with the help of Watson (10 overs from him), say 35 overs on day one.That just leaves Lyon with 20 overs of holding up an end. Now worries. It's how Ryano pu;lls up afterwards that'll determine how much of the series he plays.

  • Cricket_Froth on June 19, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Harris' fitness and presence is a significant boost for Australia. There's no doubt that our strength is fast bowling at the moment. The batting is clearly a weak point, meaning we probably won't score enough runs to pick and give a leg spinner the license they need to toss it up and have a real go. So pace and protective finger spin is likely. The problem we face with our pace bowlers is picking the right ones at the right times. It's almost easier to manage if you have 3 clear choices, but we don't. We have 5 formidable options in the squad and some other all-rounder pace options. If managed - and selected correctly - Australia's pace bowling could just provide a sliver of hope in the Ashes series', but if the selectors and leadership fail to manage this top class resource well, we risk squandering it and our hopes of Ashes glory.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 23, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    The sub headline for this article reads "ready for "proper bowling" against gloucestershire" ......... Does anyone know when that's gonna happen?

  • rajkothari14 on June 22, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    This time around its very clear that there is bit of concern in batting department. England do have an upper hand to win the ashes 2-1. They have a good team.

    Cowan and Warner need to build 100+ partnerships regularly. For Hughes i think this may be the last series or else he will be dropped.In spin department it should be Lyon and not Doherty because he is more suitable for ODI.

    Good luck to both the teams

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @Moppa... I have no probs with Patto "but" he breaks down regularly & has cost us games, if anything his injury record is no better than Harris - so I wouldn't have Watto, Harris, Pattinson all together in the same team as its inviting problems... Thats why I'd drop Watto to have Harris & Siddle opening with experience against Eng, then Bird, Patto/Faulkner as the 2nd string bowlers. Starc I like but is too wayward & at times shows his nerves too much, so I'd prefer Faulkner as the lefty option. In regards to Landl, you obviously haven't read his comms on Oz from years ago - not much different to FFL today at times - its actually quite funny in that he changed his attitude after repeated replies by me, so if he wonders back to his old past I'm here to remind him...

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer "@zenboomerang next time u reply to others' comments , do it only after reading that comment twice" + "if u want , criticise his fitness , but respect the fact that he is the best bowler"...

    Gee, you seem very misguided - I said "His fitness has never been an issue" yet you claim it is a problem... Perhaps trying to read my comms better you will add to your understanding to other comms by everyone ;) ...

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 22, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @ TheBigBoodha, post match analysis is all well and good. Whether or not Australia rest players or who they select as bowlers is up to them. The facts remain that you were 44/6, and you lost the game heavily, and the series 1-0. An Aus win in Adelaide would have meant a drawn series, not a series win for Australia. As I said previously, Australia has good bowlers. Your batting is where you fall down. Realistically, if you picked a top 7 batting line up from England & Australia would you pick anyone other than Clarke from Australia? If so, who?

  • landl47 on June 21, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    @shaggy076: I can't see any issue with Pattinson bowling 18 overs a day either, provided you want him to bowl at 135-140kph. Of course, given that he's not a swing bowler, he won't take many wickets at that pace.

    If you want him to bowl 145-150kph (and I would if I was his captain) he can't do it for18 overs a day without breaking down.

  • TheBigBoodha on June 21, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    @oscoli67, Steyn and Morkel must be pretty ordinary if they cannot take wickets anywhere in AUS but Perth. Pattinson and co had no such trouble. Maybe you forgot that AUS changed their ENTIRE fast bowling lineup for that game. I wonder how SA would have gone if they'd done the same? And AUS only had three bowlers most of the Adelaide test, and still totally out bowled SA. Who wins test matches with 3 bowlers in Adelaide? Faf was given out twice in Adelaide, reviewed and was saved by the skin of his teeth in one LBW decision. That's how lose SA were to losing that series.

  • First_Drop on June 21, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    @Hammond....though I agree with the injury concerns, you described Harris as a 'medium pacer'?? I've seen him bowl consistently at 95mph. Nowadays, he hovers around 90mph - not quite express (though he is capable of it) but way faster than medium pace.

  • Beertjie on June 21, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    @landl47 on (June 21, 2013, 1:35) I don't think you're being reasonable at all! Given a first day pitch of normal play I'd think Patto could bowl 17 quick overs taking a second new ball for 5 overs. Harris could do likewise. Siddle/Bird are well capable of bowling morning, post- lunch and post-tea spells with the help of Watson (10 overs from him), say 35 overs on day one.That just leaves Lyon with 20 overs of holding up an end. Now worries. It's how Ryano pu;lls up afterwards that'll determine how much of the series he plays.

  • Hammond on June 21, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Harris is a decent bowler, trouble is he may break down after the first test in his second over. Outclassed by the English bowlers as well in their own conditions (and even his own conditions! in 2010/11). If Australia had an Onions or a Tremlett waiting for a chance they would get a baggy green over this tired (and yet talented) work horse of a medium pacer..

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 21, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer: These fantasy lists of 'the perfect team' are all well and good but every other list of this sort has in the past been quickly demolished after 1 test. No doubt your list will need some considerable readjusting after Trent Bridge. re-shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic is not the best strategy for Oz.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 21, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    @ AussieheldhostagebywifeinUK on (June 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT) You getting yourself confused. My reference to Adelaide 2010 was solely about Harris' batting (priceless !!!!). The 5th day I refer to was when Du Plessis (on debut) held you out when you only needed 6 wickets to win at start of play (2012) . Admitedly, had you chosen a keeper who can catch, the result would have been different. As For Cook, I expect him to do very well in England, and even better in Australia. There's no dispute that for the current aussie team bowling is the strong suit - even your coach is trying to boost morale by bigging them up. As for the SA series, 3 games, 2 batsmen's paradise roads to play on & Perth, and what happened at Perth? Steyn had your boys 44/6. Your batting, not your bowling will be the cause of 2 heavy series defeats. Good Luck !!

  • First_Drop on June 21, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    @chrisp - copeland is excellent - real shame they took him to Sri Lanka, where he was less likely to take wickets. He went there, failed, and that was it!? The things is that Australian bowling has an emabbassment of fast bowling riches at the moment -I can't remember it ever being like this in the past. Bird, Faulkner, Cummins, Harris, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Copeland - and most of them are young!! It's unbelievable. Personally, I think for sheer talent, Pattinon, Cummins, Bird, Faulkner and Starc are probably the best. However, Siddle gets in the team because he makes up for a slighty lower level of talent with huge heart and the ability to put in long, long spells. Pattinson has the same heart, but is a little more fragile. All in all - we have awesome fast bowling talent and depth.

  • Shaggy076 on June 21, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Landl47 - Dont think it matters whether Harris bowls 12 overs or 25 in a day he will pull up sore. I reckon throw him in with Patto bowl 25 overs then if he sore at the start of the next test leave him out and use our other options. Cant see any issue with Patto bowling about 18 ie 6 per session.

  • landl47 on June 21, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    @Mitty, we're not far apart on this. The way I see it is that neither Pattinson nor Harris should bowl more than 12 overs in a day, both to keep them fresh and to guard against injuries. If Watson can bowl 6 overs a day, that leaves 72 overs between 3 bowlers if only one of Pattinson or Harris plays, but 60 between 2 if both of them play. Big heart though he has, Siddle can really only bowl 20-25 overs a day, which leaves 35-40 to be bowled by, presumably, Lyon. I'm not a Lyon basher, he's done well so far especially given his lack of experience, but these are English conditions and he's facing a batting side that beat up on the Indian spinners in India. If he bowls 35-40 overs a day, England wins.

    Therefore, only one of Harris and Pattinson should be selected. If both are fit, who would you go for? I'm guessing Patto- that would certainly be my choice. It's just too much of a risk choosing Harris.

    Is that reasonable?

  • VivGilchrist on June 20, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    @Millhouse79, I really hope your wish comes true and Harris does play. It's hypothetical but I honestly think the Aussie bowlers would rip through the Aussie bats better than what the English would. Unfortunately the English get to bowl to the more fragile top 6.

  • Chris_P on June 20, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    @Mitty2. I think the word "terrible" is probably a little over the top for Starc as he displayed some outstanding form in some of his tests. His effort on the last day in Hobart comes to mind. Let's not forget he is only 23, however that said, he is an impact bowler, not a workhorse, although he is one of a few bowlers who keeps playing without issue. The way I see it is Patto, Starc & Rhino (although the latter 2 are capable of bowling long stins) are the strike bowlers best served in short bursts, while Sidds & Bird are the workhorses. Faulkner fits both bills, plus is probably the nest batsmen out of them. So the trick is to use what is available to suit the pitch & conditions. Easy in theory, not so in practice I would suggest. Too bad Copeland is on the outer, now there is a guy who can bowl 30 odd economical overs a day & still probe for wickets.

  • Mitty2 on June 20, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    @landl47, granted that there would be no use of Patto as a stock bowler, but he's always been better than just a quick who bowls in short bursts. I think I was referring to the second test where he and Siddle both bowled superbly only for Doherty to - as usual - come on and ruin everything. Probably a bit of hype from me, considering that we already have a very good stock bowler to assist Patto in Bird. Same goes with Harris.

    @Milhose79, our best attack would include both of them and Patto, but you can't have an attack with Harris in it without Siddle, because if the likely happens and Harris gets injured, no one other than Siddle could take up that much slack. Bird - as his domestic record - is easily in the top 3 bowlers in the country, but there are increasing signs that our terrible selection panel would prefer the terrible Mitchell Starc, in which I can name 10 domestic bowlers who haven't represented Australia and are yet far superior bowlers.

    @whoster, agree, but hype is hype!

  • hhillbumper on June 20, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    This verbal battle just keeps heating up.Heard Micky Arthur saying Aus had the best bowling attack.As ever we will see what happens when they play.

  • Jaffa79 on June 20, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    I am not saying Harris is a bad bowler; on the contrary he has done well in the games he has played but he is surely a bit part player who comes in if there are injuries. The guys is 33 and has the knees of an 80 year old. As an England fan, I would like him to play. You guys would be better served by Bird, who looks to have the tools to succeed in the UK and more importantly, looks less of a risk. As for people who say he is better than Jimmy or the second best behind Steyn, do wake up! I'd question whether you actually watch the game if you make comments like that.

  • on June 20, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    How close are Australia to selecting a team with Clarke and ten fast bowlers? The batting can't possible do any worse so why not try out something new!

  • First_Drop on June 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    @Oscoli67: You say Adelaide 2010 (3 years ago), I say Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland 2013. I say Aust v SA 2012/13 (we lost, but we ran them very close). Who can't take the wickets?? You reckon Cook is better now than he was in the last Ashes?? (Think about it before you answer...) BTW, Australia lost 4-0 against the same team we beat 5-0 in Australia....what does that prove? We don't do well in India (but we already knew that). Fortunately, this Ashes series isn't being played in India. Phew. I think you chaps are relying way too much on what happened in India.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @AussieheldhostagebywifeinUK perfectly acceptable line of thought to include pattinson , as i agree that it wil cover up for injury and the fact that all da aussie bowlers except bird can bat well is a bonus. Put it dis way . An extra batsman like warner will also not be risk free , given his style of play . I would rather tolerate 30 each from pato, ryano , sidds and starc and lyon is pretty handy. Also , it will allow siddle and lyon to bowl long spells and clarke can use the other three quicks as grenades.

    I also agree about hughes , he has got something about him. But the thing he needs to do is find a way of surviving the initial burst and learn how to stay calm when things are difficult , becos he can really pile up the runs when conditions suit him

  • landl47 on June 20, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    @Mitty, my comments on Pattinson are reflected in his results. In India, he took 6 wickets in the first test he played, 4 of which were in short bursts- 3 in the first innings and one in the second. You might remember the fuss there was because Clarke only bowled him for 6 overs (2 spells of 3 ) the first day, in which he took 3 wickets. His next wicket was after Kohli and Dhoni had taken the score past 300.

    In the second and 3rd tests he played he took 2 for 80-odd and 1 for 60-odd- steadily diminishing returns. Yes, he toiled away, but he wasn't effective apart from that first, short-burst period. I'll say now that if he's used as a stock bowler against England he'll be wasted.

    He's a very dangerous bowler if he can be kept fresh and bowl short bursts of 145-150k. The point is, Harris isn't a stock bowler either and both of them have a history of injuries. I mentioned the last time England saw him, but Harris' injury record is appalling- he's another Shane Bond.

  • whoster on June 20, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Harris should be admired for the way he keeps battling back from injuries, and he's the type of bowler that'll give his team everything. If he's fully fit, he should be a cert for the Aussie attack - but it's a big 'if.' Also, he's 33, and there'll be question marks about his ability to bowl long spells at good pace. As for Harris' contention that the Aussie pace attack is as good - if not better, than England's, that has very much to be proved. England's first choice pace attack of Anderson, Broad and Finn have nearly 600 Test wickets between them. As for the Aussie's, it's anyone's guess as to what their best pace-attack is.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 20, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    @AussieheldhostagebywifeinUK I'm English & live in Australia. I've seen plenty of the bowling for both sides. An inability to take only 6 wickets in a full 5th day at Adelaide sticks in my mind more than just quoting individual averages. As for the batting, Cook came to Aus in 2010 averaging 42 off a terrible home series against Pakistan. he now averages 49.17 with an average of 69 as captain. He's simply a better player now than he was then. As for KP, did you see his 186 in Mumbai against the same bowlers you just lost 4-0 to? It was like watching Viv Richards. Realistically, if you pick a top 7 batting line up from both sides only Clarke from Aus would be selected. Even with the white Kookaburra ball Anderson has it on a string. Prepare for a masterclass with the red Duke. Not long to go now !!

  • on June 20, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    @Landl47, In answer to your question, "How can Aus take the risk of playing him?" I think its pretty clear, we think he can be a match winner, perhaps that the odds of him playing a match winning role outweigh the risks of him limping off the paddock. That is the answer and I think most Aussie fans would agree that when put alongside the likes of Starc and Bird he is probably going to be the most dangerous prospect. Its always been the Aussie way to take the risk of the loss if it means enhancing the chances of winning.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 20, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Ryan Harris already holds a unique position in ashes folklore, with a unique record that can only ever be equalled but never beaten. I don't remember him being that good a bowler you cry? Well he isn't. He holds a unique batting record. At Adelaide in 2010 he was out for a king pair. Both lbw, both decisions were reviewed by him, both reviews unsuccessful. Will probably never happen again. I'm looking forward to seeing him bat in the upcoming ashes.

  • Beertjie on June 20, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Spot on in everything you wrote @ Moppa on (June 20, 2013, 8:53 GMT) Hoping for a green top but can't see one in any of the tests. Therefore, Lyon has to play the first two tests and then probably whoever else is picked. Don't make it too easy for Swann by picking Starc and Faulkner. Siddle and Bird alongside Harris can pick up any slack from possible injury to the latter, and the 10 overs from Watto will help. Pattinson would be in the mix, too, but I guess I've answered your question @landl47 on (June 20, 2013, 2:39 GMT). Looking forward to an all-pace attack but conditions will just not be that favourable. If it's overcast, one could take a punt, but that would be risking losing the toss and being bowled out for under 50!

  • First_Drop on June 20, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    @Oscoli67 - Have you seen the Aussie bowling lineup? Harris and Pattinson both average 23 in test cricket. Siddle averages 28. Starc, though averaging 34 is a quality bowler. Compared to the England lineup, (in fact compared to any lineup), that is great. Cook's form is nowhere near his form at the last Ashes. Crompton is not the opener you would like him to be. Trott is getting on, though admittedly still performing, past his best, as is KP. Root looks good but how will he fare against world class bowling? And apart from Jimmy, Broad and Finn's best asset is that they are tall. They are consistently inconsistent - just take a look at the press clippings over the last 6 months. You guys are favourites, but I wouldn't be reclining just yet. I think, at the very least, your batsmen are in for a surprise.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on June 20, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    His confidence must be through the roof having spent all that time in the nets bowling to the likes of Hughes, Watson, Warner (insert name of any Australian batsman bar Clarke) etc etc ... Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell & Root will provide a far sterner test for him. At 33 years old he's going to need to spend plenty of time in the pavillion with his feet up to be able to perform. Sadly for him I can see Eng batting 5 sessions then Aus all out in 60 overs then back in the field for a day and a half. It'll be a question of when, not if he breaks down. Aus fans should be wary of pinning your hopes on Harris.

  • First_Drop on June 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer - I hear you, mate. I'm a fan of Faulkner's as well. However, I'm a bigger fan of James Pattinson, who's 1st class batting average is only 9 less than Faulkner's. He's also one of those guys that is naturally pumped up - ala Siddle and Big Merv. I don't think we can leave him out. Also, though I'm disappointed with P Hughes performance recently, I think he's got the goods to be a very good test batsman. My test 11 would be: Watto, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle, Starc, Lyon. You're thinking, that's one too few batsmen? Pattinson, Harris, and Starc can all bat a bit. But the point here is; our strength is pace bowling - the best chance we have of winning this thing is if our bowlers get on top and reduce the pressure on our batsmen. So, we need to be able to bowl them out cheaply -> thus the extra fast bowler. It also covers us in the event of injury (which sadly seems likely at some point).

  • Diddles1978 on June 20, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Why do all Aussies rubbish Jimmy Anderson? If he was a Aussie he would be batting a 3.Whats the point in having a good bowling attack when you Aussie's cant bat for Toffee.

    Clarke wont be captain this time next year, so many rifts in the team will cost him his job not the results.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    @Fenny_Essex_Boi are you alright?

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    I think this is the perfect team for aus in the first test: Watson, Khawaja , Cowan , Clarke , Rogers , Haddin , Faulkner , Starc , Harris , Siddle and Lyon. the reason behind including Faulkner is 2-fold: eng struggled against nz's 2 leftarm quickies :Boult and Wagner recently. Just including warner or hughes is not going to boost aus's batting which is their weak link. So it is good to rather boost the bowling with faulkner who is a dynamic allrounder. Also Haddin at 6 is not cataclysmic (in fact it is better than warner or the unconvincing hughes) since he was in good shield form and got a 100 recently against scotland. khawaja should open becos hard new ball is the best chance for a relative newcomer to score against , rather than old ball which is eng's strength due to swann and reverse swing .So, Rogers should bat at 5 becos of his county experience. Watson should be used as a part timer with his focus being on blasting the new ball.Cown can fill in at 3.BUT CLARKE !the key

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @zenboomerang next time u reply to others' comments , do it only after reading that comment twice. i only said dat he picked 6 wickets in the 2nd innings. and i m not saying that he is unfit . he is a good strong cricketer. my comment was in the context of his constant injuries. And u need not teach me about his greatness. If i had not known that he is the best bowler on this planet alongwith steyn , i would not have named my account as 'RyanHarrisGreatCricketer'.

    @Moppa harris can easily do what pattinson can i.e. to bowl full and get outswing . but pattinson cant do what harris is good at : i.e. bowl tidily and bowl at the most 2 or 3 bad balls in a 6over spell. and hopefully , u have read michael clarkle's countless interviews where he says harris is as good as any fast bowler he has played with. matter over . Harris , Starc and Siddle is the best and the most balanced attack for australia . Pattinson is far too expensive to succeed against proficient batsmen

  • Diddles1978 on June 20, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    He is past it, very floaty bowling during his last test series in the Windies.

  • Moppa on June 20, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    @zenboomerang, I think you've over-reached there. Firstly, Pattinson and Siddle will be the first two pacemen picked. I'm a huge Harris fan, but given his well documented injury record I'd be amazed if he played more than three matches in the series, and certainly won't play back-to-back matches (e.g. the first two Tests are within a fortnight). Secondly, you are extremely harsh on @landl47 who, as @Mitty2 points out, is one of the most thoughtful and balanced English posters on this site. I happen to disagree with Mr Landl re Harris, but on most other things I think he's bang on the mark. Lastly, I think Bird is ahead of Starc and Faulkner in the pecking order and, in any case, Australia will play Lyon plus three quicks unless its a raging greentop.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on June 20, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    The fear of the England fans is on display for all to see here. Perhaps they are right and are sensing that the England batsmen are walking blind towards a precipice.

    I take a more balanced view and agree with Harris. Aus needs to play their best cricket to win.

  • derpherp on June 20, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson That comment of yours was pretty ignorant... Look at Australia's bowling attack from the 2009 Ashes, it was weaker than this current one and yet England hardly dominated that series.

  • derpherp on June 20, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    James Anderson would IMO have to be one of the most over-rated bowlers. Seriously, he has a decent (not great) home record, and an terrible overseas record for a strike bowler. Granted now I bet he takes 40 wickets for the series lol but Anderson, as well as England's pace attack, aren't really anything too special, it's just that Australia's batting will probably make them look like the 1980's Windes bowling attack.

  • RednWhiteArmy on June 20, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Harris would limp away from a sports quiz!

  • Mitty2 on June 20, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    How did I know @landl47 would mention one innings? You've done it before and I don't really understand why you're taking so much out of one innings when his total career average is 23 and he took 9 wickets the game before... Don't take this seriously though landl as you're possibly the most balanced commentator out of both the English and Aus fans, but that patto is "only effective in short bursts" is simply not true, I painfully watched the majority of the bowls in that torrid Indian tour and there were many 10 over+ spells by patto at 135-140 in blistering heat on dead tracks. He averaged an astonishing 27 for the series and the only time he has ever bowled in "short bursts" was in the first test because of management. Re bird, he's the best bowler in the country along with Harris, and that's been only the second time he's been sidelined in his FC career. But I do agree on starc, who at present is inferior to MJ and has always been mediocre with a 30+ average in FC and tests..

  • venkatesh018 on June 20, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    A real boost for Aussies. A fit Harris is a fine fast bowler.

  • zenboomerang on June 20, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer... Harris got 9 wkts in Perth... His fitness has never been an issue; if anything he over trains & doesn't know when to stop, add that he gives 100% when playing for Oz he probably over extends himself at times when he doesn't really need to...

    @landl47... Your comms on Oz cricketers get lamer the more say - you know nothing about our players so just stick to pom articles...

    Harris if in good form will be the 1st fast bowler picked, followed by Patto, Siddle with the 4th seamer likely to be Faulkner or Starc for the 1st Test with Bird in reserve...

  • on June 20, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson

    I hope the english team takes that same mindset into the Ashes then they will lose for sure... Anderson is no Steyn, I would pick Siddle or Pattinson over him any day of the week... Is SA a week batting line up? Australia lost that series but it certainly wasn't through Siddle and Pattinson being beaten thats for sure... Lyon also isnt as bad as everyone thinks, I personally think O'Keefe is the best spinner in Aus but Lyon's 76 wickets in 22 tests isnt as bad as its made out to be, and certainly better than Bangladesh's...

    The Batting is Australia's problem, especially with Warner and Hughes having a terrible year and the lose of Ponting and Hussey. I personally eagerly await Rogers' getting a real chance and hope that he and Haddin step up the way we need them to....

    England are certainly the better side don't get me wrong, but as an aussie fan I certainly hope the English players have written Australia off as much as their fans and media

  • Shuraim on June 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    My team for 1st test: Rogers,Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja/Warner, Haddin,Siddle,Pattinson, Harris, Lyon.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @Chris_P agree wid u. harris really is high class bowler

    @front-foot-lunge that is a comment typical of those who do not know the difference between bowling well and taking wickets.Agree that anderson was superb , but bresnan? i hope u know that harris was the one who got cook out in adelaide after cook's long innings. i hope u know that harris was the one who got 6 wickets in the defining 2nd innings at perth when england had plenty of time to chase a decent total. i hope u know that harris was the one who could not play at mcg(partially) and scg becos of injury and that was the ground where bresnan played and did decently well . but i m sure that harris would have been much more effectively on those two grounds having slowish pitches and proof of that is how well he did in sri lanka in 2011.

    if u want , criticise his fitness , but respect the fact that he is the best bowler in the world alonggwith steyn and much better than overhyped anderson.

    he will prove it in this ashes

  • xylo on June 20, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    The best that Australia can hope for in the Ashes is to draw/win the warmup matches.

  • landl47 on June 20, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Harris talks a good game and on the rare occasions when he's fit he's a fine bowler. The problem is how can Australia risk him, unless they're 2-0 down after the first two tests and have to try something? In 4 years as an international cricketer, he has played in ONE complete test series- and that was a two-game series against New Zealand and marked his debut. Since then, although he has been selected pretty much whenever he's been available, he has never played in every game of a test series. The last time England saw him in a test he limped off having taken 0-91 in the Melbourne test of the 2010/11 Ashes, a test which Australia lost by an innings.

    With Shane Watson only good for a few overs. James Pattinson only effective in short busts and Jackson Bird coming off a serious back injury, only Starc, who bowled rubbish in the CT against England and was promptly dropped, the inexperienced Faulkner and the reliable Siddle are there to carry the load. How can Aus risk picking Harris?

  • on June 20, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    i disagree with Harris on the last sentence. Australia dont have to underperform for England to beat them, especially in england. The English batting is way superior to what the Australians have @ their disposal atm. thy only have have Clarke while England has Cook, Trott, Petersen, Bell & Prior all of whom have dominated Australian bowling in the past both @ home & on tour + England have Anderson who only has Steyn for company as they are leagues above the rest. Australia's fast bowlers have only won stripes against weak batting teams like NZ, WI as well as India & Sri Lanka in Australia. England has Swann while even Bangladesh has better spinners than Australia So while England's best should be more than enough to win the series, Australia's best may only win a match or 2. England would really have to screw up to lose the ashes.

  • on June 20, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    workhorse with more ability but lack of luck....i think u r one of the greatest seam/swing/pace bowler i ever saw in domestic circuit/international arena

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 19, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Harris is a decent bowler, but he was outclassed by Bresnan and Anderson in the last Ashes. With his main problem being maintaining his fitness to the level the English bowlers have in the series, the smart money's on Harris's Ashes series to last no more than 5-10 overs.

  • heathrf1974 on June 19, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Good we need him, if we hope to win at test at all.

  • Chris_P on June 19, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    He won't play in most of the tests, but the ones he will he will make an impact. Go Rhino, your effort in the Shield final is still fresh in my memory, a real warrior.

  • Chris_P on June 19, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    He won't play in most of the tests, but the ones he will he will make an impact. Go Rhino, your effort in the Shield final is still fresh in my memory, a real warrior.

  • heathrf1974 on June 19, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Good we need him, if we hope to win at test at all.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 19, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Harris is a decent bowler, but he was outclassed by Bresnan and Anderson in the last Ashes. With his main problem being maintaining his fitness to the level the English bowlers have in the series, the smart money's on Harris's Ashes series to last no more than 5-10 overs.

  • on June 20, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    workhorse with more ability but lack of luck....i think u r one of the greatest seam/swing/pace bowler i ever saw in domestic circuit/international arena

  • on June 20, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    i disagree with Harris on the last sentence. Australia dont have to underperform for England to beat them, especially in england. The English batting is way superior to what the Australians have @ their disposal atm. thy only have have Clarke while England has Cook, Trott, Petersen, Bell & Prior all of whom have dominated Australian bowling in the past both @ home & on tour + England have Anderson who only has Steyn for company as they are leagues above the rest. Australia's fast bowlers have only won stripes against weak batting teams like NZ, WI as well as India & Sri Lanka in Australia. England has Swann while even Bangladesh has better spinners than Australia So while England's best should be more than enough to win the series, Australia's best may only win a match or 2. England would really have to screw up to lose the ashes.

  • landl47 on June 20, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Harris talks a good game and on the rare occasions when he's fit he's a fine bowler. The problem is how can Australia risk him, unless they're 2-0 down after the first two tests and have to try something? In 4 years as an international cricketer, he has played in ONE complete test series- and that was a two-game series against New Zealand and marked his debut. Since then, although he has been selected pretty much whenever he's been available, he has never played in every game of a test series. The last time England saw him in a test he limped off having taken 0-91 in the Melbourne test of the 2010/11 Ashes, a test which Australia lost by an innings.

    With Shane Watson only good for a few overs. James Pattinson only effective in short busts and Jackson Bird coming off a serious back injury, only Starc, who bowled rubbish in the CT against England and was promptly dropped, the inexperienced Faulkner and the reliable Siddle are there to carry the load. How can Aus risk picking Harris?

  • xylo on June 20, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    The best that Australia can hope for in the Ashes is to draw/win the warmup matches.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @Chris_P agree wid u. harris really is high class bowler

    @front-foot-lunge that is a comment typical of those who do not know the difference between bowling well and taking wickets.Agree that anderson was superb , but bresnan? i hope u know that harris was the one who got cook out in adelaide after cook's long innings. i hope u know that harris was the one who got 6 wickets in the defining 2nd innings at perth when england had plenty of time to chase a decent total. i hope u know that harris was the one who could not play at mcg(partially) and scg becos of injury and that was the ground where bresnan played and did decently well . but i m sure that harris would have been much more effectively on those two grounds having slowish pitches and proof of that is how well he did in sri lanka in 2011.

    if u want , criticise his fitness , but respect the fact that he is the best bowler in the world alonggwith steyn and much better than overhyped anderson.

    he will prove it in this ashes

  • Shuraim on June 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    My team for 1st test: Rogers,Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja/Warner, Haddin,Siddle,Pattinson, Harris, Lyon.

  • on June 20, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson

    I hope the english team takes that same mindset into the Ashes then they will lose for sure... Anderson is no Steyn, I would pick Siddle or Pattinson over him any day of the week... Is SA a week batting line up? Australia lost that series but it certainly wasn't through Siddle and Pattinson being beaten thats for sure... Lyon also isnt as bad as everyone thinks, I personally think O'Keefe is the best spinner in Aus but Lyon's 76 wickets in 22 tests isnt as bad as its made out to be, and certainly better than Bangladesh's...

    The Batting is Australia's problem, especially with Warner and Hughes having a terrible year and the lose of Ponting and Hussey. I personally eagerly await Rogers' getting a real chance and hope that he and Haddin step up the way we need them to....

    England are certainly the better side don't get me wrong, but as an aussie fan I certainly hope the English players have written Australia off as much as their fans and media