Australia news December 10, 2012

Harris steps away from BBL

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Ryan Harris' recovery from shoulder surgery has consumed his BBL campaign for the Brisbane Heat, as the highly regarded fast bowler strives to be considered for Australia's 2013 Test tours of India and England.

Having undergone rotator cuff surgery in August, Harris had originally hoped to be fit in time to take part in Australia's home Test series against Sri Lanka, starting on Friday in Hobart.

But a careful recuperation process has taken longer than first thought, first ruling him out of any cricket before Christmas and now extending into the BBL phase of summer. While Harris has returned to the bowling crease, he is yet to deliver a ball at full pace or off his long run, and it has been decided that he is better off not rushing back for Twenty20 duty.

"It's disappointing because I am pretty close but to push now might not turn out to be the best thing for longer term," Harris said. "Everyone agrees that I will be best suited to come back with Toombul in club cricket first up in January and then aim to be considered for the first Queensland games after the BBL.

"I've been feeling pretty good in the nets so far, and while I'm not bowling off the full run-up or at full pace, I'm very positive about getting up to that level soon."

James Hopes, captain of the Bulls and the Heat, was hopeful that Harris' conservative approach would reap benefits at the international level in the new year.

"I pushed myself too hard with a knee injury last year for the first half of the BBL," Hopes said. "I was fortunate enough to be able to take stock and opt for a less aggressive recovery schedule that got me back fit and well in time for the remaining Shield and one-dayers, and that's what we're going to do with Ryano.

"He is bowling really well at this stage of his recovery, but it would have been unfair to throw him back into a BBL game and expect him to go full tilt from the outset. This is the best thing for him and will give him plenty of playing time for Queensland and allow him to build a case for the Australian tours to India and England.

"I'm firmly convinced that with his bowling skill set, he is comfortably in the ranks of the best Test bowling line-up that Australia can field."

When fit, Harris is greatly valued by Australia's captain Michael Clarke and the national selectors for his combination of swing, speed and accuracy. His bowling was a key plank of Australia's series win in Sri Lanka in 2011, utilising a skidding, wicket-to-wicket method that will be suited to India.

Beyond that lies the trip to England for the first leg of dual Ashes series.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Moppa on December 12, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @hris, 'so often'? You mean, 'once'...? @meursault, I agree entirely that any of Starc, Cummins and Hilfenhaus can come into contention under favourable conditions or for variety. We could add Cutting to that list and, unfortunately, Johnson too. In reality, given injuries, this 'variety' will be injected into the line-up in any case. Re Hilf in England, I also agree - it's not just a horses for courses selection, he's got to bowl like 2011/12, not 2010/11 or 2012/13. When he loses pace his swing is earlier and less threatening and he goes from very good to very innocuous very quickly!

  • zenboomerang on December 11, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    @HatsforBats... re: Patto not completing a Test series - he managed to play for Aust A against NZ, then the Test series against NZ, followed by 2 more Tests against India - for me thats 4 games in a row before any injury & obviously with hindsight the selectors were wrong in over using him... The Aust A game was a shoot-out between the 3 young quicks, so none were holding anything back on an unresponsive AB Oval...

  • zenboomerang on December 11, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    @wellrounded87... Yes agree the 2nd Test, we needed a 5th bowler for AO as the curator had left extra grass (for the first time) on the pitch which made it hold together & lost the spin on days 4/5... Can't agree on the Kallis argument for Pattinson - we had Watson out because he couldn't bowl with no equal replacement, while I would rate Patto with Morkel as a key bowler... PS: McDonald is out for the season, but I have been watching Cutting with growing enthusiasm - could be turning into something special :) ...

  • hris on December 11, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @meety. Bowlers like Copeland, Hasting are not International Level. They will NEVER worry a team like SA or England. Harris might win us a game but will surely be responsible for losing one after that, cause he will break down midgame as he has done so often. I understand that shield performance must be rewarded. But please pick Cutting or NCN than copland, hasting, bird, or butterworth. Criteria should be performance but also Potential Talent( im sure Hyclass would disagree). But look at Steyn for example, he struggled for the first 3 odd years. Was known for his pace but was also leaky. Only when he was about 24-25 that he truly became world class. But the saffers identified his potential.

  • kamranmalik7 on December 11, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I love him. He is a true Fast bowler. Reminded me of Mcdermot

  • jonesy2 on December 11, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    love it. love harris. what a star. he should be right in the mix for the india and ashes tours. siddle him and pattinson would be my first choice fast bowling line up with the mitchells and of course cummins putting pressure on although hilfenhaus destroyed england in 09 so if he is in form you would probably have to pick him

  • Moppa on December 11, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Correcting my second post - Harris broke down during the Melbourne Ashes Test of 2010-11, after bowling 28 overs.

  • Moppa on December 11, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    @Marcio, fair point, but I can't recall Harris breaking down during a Test (I could be wrong though???). Perhaps that's down to luck, but I think also his injuries tend to be chronic and build up over time, requiring him to be rested to recuperate, rather than sudden breakdowns like Pattinson in Adelaide. If he's 100% fit to start the match, he goes straight into my team, with the only caveat that possibly he and Siddle are similar type bowlers and on some surfaces you might leave one out in favour of, say, Starc for variety. He was our most dangerous bowler in Sri Lanka last year and so I would love to see him fit for India.

  • zenboomerang on December 11, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    This is good news for Ryan, the extra recovery time & being able to play out the 2nd half of the SS season is important for where we are at with our bowling stocks prior to the Indian & England Test series - 9 Tests over 6 mths... Harris is the only Oz bowler that can keep an end tied up & take wkts at the same time - for me, he is the only no.1 bowler in Oz atm - Johnson at his best is only equal to Harris, not better - i.e. the Perth Ashes Test where both took 9 wkts...

  • zenboomerang on December 11, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    @Drew Foster... Yes, Hilfy would have been perfect against the Doctor - many were saying that before the Adelaide Test... The selectors made crucial errors for the first 2 Tests - the experiment of Quiney - the lack of a good allrounder - a skidding seamer type like Harris for AO - then Clarkes poor use of Siddle at AO, who looked baked in the 1st innings, let alone in the 2nd... A generally poor job done by all 5 of the NSP...

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