New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington March 24, 2010

Tired Harris savours solid debut


Ryan Harris has decided that it's called Test cricket for a reason. Harris bowled 41 overs in his debut match, most of them into a Wellington wind that was so strong that it tipped over the pitch roller. He was in the field for four days in a row, which is tough for anyone, especially a man who had played only one first-class game for the summer.

Little wonder that Harris was stiff and sore the day after Australia secured victory, but despite having only three days between matches he is certain he'll be refreshed in time for Saturday's second Test. Taking six wickets for the match and grabbing three important victims on the final morning helped his mood considerably, although the team's celebrations were subdued.

"I am pretty tired," Harris said on Wednesday. "I haven't played many four-day games [this year] and to do it in those conditions, they were pretty tough conditions with the wind and everything. To make New Zealand follow on and field for nearly 200 overs was a bit of a test. I got through it, I'm a bit tired now, but I'll be right to go again on Saturday.

"I looked after myself last night, so it's a matter now of keep hydrating in the next couple of days and a bit of a run around probably tomorrow and another one on Friday and get the body moving, and I should be right. I had a couple of quiet beers but didn't go too hard, none of us did because we have another big Test coming up."

Harris said it was a strange feeling to be in the Australian dressing rooms celebrating a Test win, especially after a winter that included two knee operations. Test cricket was a goal that appeared unattainable at the time, at least in the near future, but Harris has certainly made the most of his chance to wear the baggy green.

"I sat last night having a chat with Dad and a few of the boys and we've spoken about the last few months and where I nearly was with my knee, and to be sitting there last night with the boys celebrating a Test win, it's very surreal still," he said. "I never thought I'd be playing Test cricket, put it that way. I've come a fair way and it's a great feeling, all the hard work to put it all into this and get a baggy green. It's awesome."

The immediate challenge for Harris is to back up his strong debut with a good performance in Hamilton, but the longer-term goal is to be in the mix for next summer's home Ashes series. Harris is trying not to look too far ahead but can't help pondering the possibility of playing in the battle for the urn.

"It would be pretty awesome to play Ashes wow," Harris said. "But that's a long way ahead yet. I'm worried about the next Test, obviously, and then the World Twenty20 I want to be a part of and then hopefully go to England, so there's a lot to go before that.

"If I just keep performing and taking wickets and bowling well and making it hard for the selectors when the other guys come back to drop me, then that's what I want to do. That's what we've got to remember, there are still guys to come back into the team who have done really well - Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle. If I just keep performing well and make it hard for them to drop me, that's what I want to do."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Superb work ryan, i knew he wouldnt dissapoint the aussie fans. And to the issue about who is the best team at the moment, its undoubtedly australia. The current team they have are capable of beating any side.( but not unbeatable as they were before when mcgrath, warne, gilchrist, hayden were playing.) To prove that, u can wait and see the ashes, there is simply no way england are going to defend the ashes successfully in australia provided the current players are fully fit.

  • Ibrahim on March 25, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    nice read. particularly nice that his family were there. wish him all the best

  • VaRUN on March 25, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    @ Popcorn, Really? australia best test side? come on, really? lost to India in India, lost to SA at home, lost to england in england....oh yeah you guys beat Pak and WI at home, ranked 7 and deserve number 1...

  • kenneth on March 24, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    Wonder where this sudden rise to fame leaves Yorkshire? Harris was originally signed as this seasons overseas player. It then became obvious he wouldn't be available for the early season and so Tuffey was signed as cover, only to break a hand and now be very doubtful at best. With Australia's schedule it seems probable that Harris may never arrive at Headingley. Where is Craig McDermott when you need him?

  • Luke on March 24, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    'Best side in the world'? Hell, take it easy! We're doing well but beating WI and Pakistan after losing the Ashes hardly warrants that sort of talk. The way India, South Africa, Eng and Aus have played over the last 6 months shows that we're all fairly even. Take SA vs Eng for example; one team beats the other by an innings and then it's reversed the next test! NZ are very under-strength and do not have the depth to draw from. Aus have endless fast bowlers. Since winning tests is about taking 20 wickets this is paramount. Hopefully Ryder comes back for NZ soon, Taylor can develop consistency and they can find a decent pace bowler. Maybe NZ are missing O'Brien more than first thought. Will be interesting to see if Watson comes back in - surely if there's any doubt on fitness he's left out. Will Siddle and Hilfenhaus walk back in when fit? I don't think so; Bolly and Harris are doing equally well. It may be another Jaques scenario where injury at the worng time keeps you sidelined.

  • thomas on March 24, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    Ryan is more a bowler in stuart clark mould. Like Clark he also got his chance at international level after he was 30. He will be around for couple of years unless siddle and Hiffenhaus the flavours of last season return back strongly.

  • Ian on March 24, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Ryano is showing genuine enthusiasm and delight in reaching the elite level of cricket, and wearing the Baggy Green. He's got a great attitude and I hope he keeps getting the experience where ever he can. His ambition is refreshing and with him alongside our other bowlers, things are looking up really well. When Hilfy returns he deserves be in the starting XI alongside Douggie, but if I had to weigh it up, I'd say Ryano is probably having that slight X factor ahead of Sids, who I reckon would maybe miss out against those four blokes (including Mitch). Still, only 1 Test under his belt so looking forward to seeing more from him. Good article.

  • Josh on March 24, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    The guys got heart and hits consistent line an length at good pace..will be interesting to see if Siddle will get the nod over him when he comes back.

  • Rajaram on March 24, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    I am really happy for Ryan Harris and Australia that we've got three wicket-taking strike bowlers,Michell Johnson,Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris,operating at 150kph,solid quicks.with Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus getting fitter by the day. Three more Tests to go, one in New Zealand, two in England against Pakistan.We're primed for the Ashes,batting,fielding and bowling supporting each other - no weak links - and whatever the Rankings may say,Australia are the best Test side in the world.

  • andrews on March 24, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    Point taken, but let's not twist the facts. Harris bowled three overs into the wind on the day the wind was strong enough to move the roller, not tip it over. Being at the Basin on day 4 was one of the most amazing cricket experiences of all. The wind was nothing like it on the others days. Bit don't let the facts get in the way of your story.

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