The Ashes 2013-14 December 2, 2013

All guns blazing for Harris

40

Ryan Harris has insisted he is fit and ready to deliver his typically wholehearted and skilful pace bowling in the second Ashes Test, flatly rejecting all reports that he had been lined up for rest on what is expected to be a dry and unforgiving drop-in pitch at the recast Adelaide Oval.

Even with reports suggesting that James Faulkner is almost certain to start as a way to better spread the bowling load on a surface unlikely to break up easily, Harris is adamant he will not be the one to make way, as Australia hope to double the 1-0 lead they secured in Brisbane.

It is likely that Faulkner will come in place of Gabba debutant George Bailey, who indicated he would not be perturbed to be dropped after one match because of ground conditions and the national selectors keeping one eye on the third match in Perth. This would leave Harris free to attack England's batsmen once more, a prospect he shows no signs of weariness about.

"I'll be all guns blazing here as well. I'm not going to miss a Test unless I really have to. I'm here to play five," Harris said. "I had the turnaround in England and got through OK. The wickets are a little bit harder here, that's the only difference. I'm feeling good. I had a good break, the extra day from Brisbane helped. All the reports about me resting, Boof hasn't mentioned one word about me resting, which is good. I'm feeling good and ready to go.

"I will be used as normal. I don't think going into a game holding anyone back is what you do. You've got to go in and bowl as if it's your last Test, it doesn't matter how many days in between, you've got to go in 110%. If I was going in only bowling 30, 35 overs I wouldn't play because you can't have one bloke going half-hearted. It puts pressure on your two or three other bowlers. I'm going in as if I'm bowling 50 overs. I've got to make sure whatever I do between Tests I get right and feel good, and I'm confident I can do that."

Even before the arrival of the drop-in pitch, Adelaide had been known as a place where bowlers could prosper only if they adhered rigorously to the demands of the trustworthy pitch and fast outfield. This amounts to the pursuit of a disciplined line and length, not allowing the batsmen to free their arms and feast on the ground's short square boundaries.

Harris agreed the bowlers' margin for error was less in Adelaide than elsewhere, and predicted a more concerted attack on the stumps from Australia's bowlers, whether it be with a conventionally swinging new ball, or by the reverse movement offered by its older descendant later in the innings. He reckoned that England would be more likely to pitch Joe Root in to bat at No. 3 in place of Jonathan Trott, though admitting a personal preference for seeing Ian Bell come in earlier to face the new ball.

"It's a great loss with Trotty not there. It's going to be interesting to see who they put in there. Hopefully it's Bell and we get an earlier chance to get him out, that's what I'm thinking," Harris said. "Whether it's Belly or even Joe Root, they're both good players so whoever it's going to be they have got a big job to do and a big position to fill. We've got to make sure we are ready for whoever it is. It's a big loss with Jonathan not there so we have got to make sure we capitalise."

On the subject of Trott, a batsman who the Australian bowlers managed "get inside the head of", Harris expressed sorrow about his sudden exit from the series following a stress illness.

"Jonathan has gone now and I will be disappointed if anyone brings that up," Harris said. "It's not a nice thing that he's going through and all the boys have said it, we want Jonathan Trott back playing cricket. The whole world does. I know the Australian team does because he's one of their best players and we want to play against their best team.

"He has made a big decision going home and I would love to see him back playing soon. I had some good battles with him over in England and I was looking forward to continuing that here. The England team need him and world cricket needs him, he's a world class player."

Harris also accepted that Australia's angle of attack, nasty and short in Brisbane, needed to be tweaked in Adelaide, responding to the demands of the drop-in, and that the bowlers could not complaining about the toll it is expected to take on their bodies.

"We know we're going to be sore at the end of it," he said. "It's the unknown here again, this new wicket, and it's a challenge of tweaking what we did in Brisbane on those bouncy wickets. We've played enough in these conditions. Melbourne was like this for a few years. It was quite flat. We know what we have to do and what changes we have to make. It's another big challenge as a group to get our head around."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SaracensBob on December 3, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Of course he wants to play - he's taking wickets and making a huge contribution to winning test matches! The last thing Ryan Harris wants is to be 'rested'. However given his injury record do the Aussies want to risk him flogging himself to death on a lifeless drop-in pitch in Adelaide? Might he not be better served by being held back for bowler-friendly Perth? If he doesn't play in this test it will be interesting to see how MJ gets on without him coming steaming in from the opposite end. Ah! The conundrums of cricket - who'd want to be a selector? As an Eng fan it was gratifying to see RH's comments re the Trotty situation. Hat's off to you Ryan - not only a great bowler but a good sportsman too!

  • Biggus on December 3, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Has anyone stopped to think just how dire things would have been over the last few years for we Aussies without Ryan Harris? When it's all done and dusted he'll have likely played no more than 40 tests for us, perhaps not even 30, and will blend into statistical anonymity, swamped by far lesser players who've had the good fortune to play for longer, but he deserves far, far better. A sub 22 bowling average, 4 1/2 wickets a game, one wicket every 7 1/2 overs, and all from a guy who started late and has been in and out due to injury. I mean folks, those are SERIOUSLY good numbers, we're in Malcolm Marshall/Richard Hadlee territory there. He just gets better every time I see him play, and is, along with Mike Hussey one of our recent players for whom I have only the greatest respect. Ryan, you're a champ mate.

  • Marcio on December 3, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy, "Can someone call an ambulance, please?"

    Why? Is the thought of another pasting making you feel ill already?

  • Marcio on December 3, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Wefinishthis, Philander #1? You have got to be joking! It took him five innings to get his first wicket in Australia last tour. Just too slow to be a concern to anyone here. Harris can take wickets anywhere.

  • valvolux on December 3, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I just wonder whether this will be as high scoring as everyone expects. There's always a bit of swing early in Adelaide and I recall the English getting some good reverse last time. As soon as swing comes into it, the flatness of the pitch becomes irrelevant. Harris is the only swing bowler fit in Australia. Looking at the current forecast, it looks like the morning session of day one will be overcast if not raining. Remember in 10/11, Australia were 3 down for only a couple of runs batting first in Adelaide. They were 3 down for not a lot against India as well. Australia still have the uncanny ability to lose wickets in large clumps, nothing in Brisbane suggested they've overcome that weakness. I wouldn't mind seeing Clarke lose the toss and bowl at the poms first up. The English top order is unsettled and you feel if you can get them on the back foot early, that's lights out for them.

  • Wefinishthis on December 3, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    1 Philander, 2 Steyn, 3 Harris, 4 Daylight, 5 The Rest. I'm just happy that Harris is finally getting the recognition he deserves. He's our best ODI bowler as well. I had always said Harris was our best bowler since he first played for Australia. The stats proved him to be our best, but selectors and many statistically-ignorant viewers all thought Siddle, 'haus and Johnson were better and now with the benefit of hindight, we know that the stats didn't lie. Unfortunately Harris may only have a handful of series left, but the good news is that we have a lot of bowlers who have just as much potential in Bird, Pattinson, Faulkner, Sayers, Sandhu and Cummins. Shame about the omission of O'Keefe. We might not have lost the ashes last time had he played instead of all those imposters like XD, Beer etc. Either way, at least everyone and more importantly the selectors now recognise that Harris is our no.1 and has to be first picked after Clarke.

  • dunger.bob on December 3, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Someone mentioned weeks ago that Ryan reminds him of a slightly slower Malcolm Marshall. Stocky and powerful with a front-onish action. Got himself a nagging, skidding trajectory and has the ability to get the ball to kick now and then. Great lines, better lengths and is a thinking bowler who can work a pitch out in no time at all.

    Yeah, I can see that. There are similarities. Marshall was one of the best bowlers I've ever seen and Ryan is not quite that good but he's not very far behind either.

    @Englishfan: "Interesting that he nearly qualified for England and had a British passport. Wouldn't that have been interesting...". Ahem, cough cough. Please, if you take all our toys away, we won't be able to come out and play anymore.

  • Chris_P on December 2, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    There is everything to like about Harris. he does the job, puts in the yard yards, he has gone through massive disappointments earlier in his cricket career &, although not the most talented bowler going about his heart is huge. His effectiveness in Perth will be entirely reliant on his workload this test. Watson, if selected, needs to put in a lot of overs, a lot, in fact if anyone should break down from extra overs it should be him to allow our strike bowlers to be ready for Pert. We talk about the Aussie quicks, but England bowlers are also under the pump on their back-up capabilities for Perth. Can Bresnan, if selected, do back to back tests? Will the extra workload affect Anderson, he didn't cope so well in England. I think Broad should be fine to back up, but it will be very taxing on their bodies.

  • ShutTheGate on December 2, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Harris you're a champion. I hope you get a fifer in the first innings and get Bell and Cook out for less than 50.

  • RednWhiteArmy on December 2, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Can someone call an ambulance, please?

  • SaracensBob on December 3, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Of course he wants to play - he's taking wickets and making a huge contribution to winning test matches! The last thing Ryan Harris wants is to be 'rested'. However given his injury record do the Aussies want to risk him flogging himself to death on a lifeless drop-in pitch in Adelaide? Might he not be better served by being held back for bowler-friendly Perth? If he doesn't play in this test it will be interesting to see how MJ gets on without him coming steaming in from the opposite end. Ah! The conundrums of cricket - who'd want to be a selector? As an Eng fan it was gratifying to see RH's comments re the Trotty situation. Hat's off to you Ryan - not only a great bowler but a good sportsman too!

  • Biggus on December 3, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Has anyone stopped to think just how dire things would have been over the last few years for we Aussies without Ryan Harris? When it's all done and dusted he'll have likely played no more than 40 tests for us, perhaps not even 30, and will blend into statistical anonymity, swamped by far lesser players who've had the good fortune to play for longer, but he deserves far, far better. A sub 22 bowling average, 4 1/2 wickets a game, one wicket every 7 1/2 overs, and all from a guy who started late and has been in and out due to injury. I mean folks, those are SERIOUSLY good numbers, we're in Malcolm Marshall/Richard Hadlee territory there. He just gets better every time I see him play, and is, along with Mike Hussey one of our recent players for whom I have only the greatest respect. Ryan, you're a champ mate.

  • Marcio on December 3, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy, "Can someone call an ambulance, please?"

    Why? Is the thought of another pasting making you feel ill already?

  • Marcio on December 3, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Wefinishthis, Philander #1? You have got to be joking! It took him five innings to get his first wicket in Australia last tour. Just too slow to be a concern to anyone here. Harris can take wickets anywhere.

  • valvolux on December 3, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I just wonder whether this will be as high scoring as everyone expects. There's always a bit of swing early in Adelaide and I recall the English getting some good reverse last time. As soon as swing comes into it, the flatness of the pitch becomes irrelevant. Harris is the only swing bowler fit in Australia. Looking at the current forecast, it looks like the morning session of day one will be overcast if not raining. Remember in 10/11, Australia were 3 down for only a couple of runs batting first in Adelaide. They were 3 down for not a lot against India as well. Australia still have the uncanny ability to lose wickets in large clumps, nothing in Brisbane suggested they've overcome that weakness. I wouldn't mind seeing Clarke lose the toss and bowl at the poms first up. The English top order is unsettled and you feel if you can get them on the back foot early, that's lights out for them.

  • Wefinishthis on December 3, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    1 Philander, 2 Steyn, 3 Harris, 4 Daylight, 5 The Rest. I'm just happy that Harris is finally getting the recognition he deserves. He's our best ODI bowler as well. I had always said Harris was our best bowler since he first played for Australia. The stats proved him to be our best, but selectors and many statistically-ignorant viewers all thought Siddle, 'haus and Johnson were better and now with the benefit of hindight, we know that the stats didn't lie. Unfortunately Harris may only have a handful of series left, but the good news is that we have a lot of bowlers who have just as much potential in Bird, Pattinson, Faulkner, Sayers, Sandhu and Cummins. Shame about the omission of O'Keefe. We might not have lost the ashes last time had he played instead of all those imposters like XD, Beer etc. Either way, at least everyone and more importantly the selectors now recognise that Harris is our no.1 and has to be first picked after Clarke.

  • dunger.bob on December 3, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Someone mentioned weeks ago that Ryan reminds him of a slightly slower Malcolm Marshall. Stocky and powerful with a front-onish action. Got himself a nagging, skidding trajectory and has the ability to get the ball to kick now and then. Great lines, better lengths and is a thinking bowler who can work a pitch out in no time at all.

    Yeah, I can see that. There are similarities. Marshall was one of the best bowlers I've ever seen and Ryan is not quite that good but he's not very far behind either.

    @Englishfan: "Interesting that he nearly qualified for England and had a British passport. Wouldn't that have been interesting...". Ahem, cough cough. Please, if you take all our toys away, we won't be able to come out and play anymore.

  • Chris_P on December 2, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    There is everything to like about Harris. he does the job, puts in the yard yards, he has gone through massive disappointments earlier in his cricket career &, although not the most talented bowler going about his heart is huge. His effectiveness in Perth will be entirely reliant on his workload this test. Watson, if selected, needs to put in a lot of overs, a lot, in fact if anyone should break down from extra overs it should be him to allow our strike bowlers to be ready for Pert. We talk about the Aussie quicks, but England bowlers are also under the pump on their back-up capabilities for Perth. Can Bresnan, if selected, do back to back tests? Will the extra workload affect Anderson, he didn't cope so well in England. I think Broad should be fine to back up, but it will be very taxing on their bodies.

  • ShutTheGate on December 2, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Harris you're a champion. I hope you get a fifer in the first innings and get Bell and Cook out for less than 50.

  • RednWhiteArmy on December 2, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Can someone call an ambulance, please?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 2, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Nice piece; nice interview; and lovely attitude by Harris. Totally proved me wrong in the last Ashes but you know what - I'm glad. Real breath of fresh air seeing him charge in and bowl so well, and good luck to him because bowling's what I love best.

  • on December 2, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    AndTo English fan: Jesus Christ haven't you pommies stolen enough talent from around the world? Half your team that will take the field at Adelaide's will probably be foreign. And this despite Andrew Strauss's retirement and Johnathan trott's early exit. Yes he has a British passport. Just like James pattinson. And probably a million other Aussies who have at least one British parent. You should try and produce your own cricketers a bit more!

  • InsideHedge on December 2, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    I'll be surprised if he doesn't miss at least one Test thru injury.

  • milepost on December 2, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    @Kritesh Modi, I don't agree that Johnson has brittle confidence, he looks very assured taking wickets and scoring runs. Of course he will play in Adelaide, he tore England apart with his ferocious bowling and 90mph+ is good on any surface.

  • on December 2, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    Whatever u say,Ryan Harris is a gem of a bowler.Puts his heart into bowling, is a delight to watch, and even though Dashing arrival of Johnson is still Australia go to man.For england to have any chance,they must negotiate harris very smartly. Think it is gonna b a Draw test match with a five for Harris...

  • AlSmug on December 2, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    @ Englishfan , Harris is an Aussie mate, he is all class if he didnt suffer from peaking late in life and didnt break down more then the english Jones he would be up there with the best. Australia have the mental edge going into test 2 lets hope we keep England down

  • CodandChips on December 2, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    If he actually had half-decent fitness, I reckon he would be better than Steyn. But he has been unable to prove himself over a long period of time, and also fitness is certainly something to consider when valuing bowlers. That is why Steyn stands out.

    I remember Harris' king pair in 2010-11. He got 2 poor decisions. This is the first thing I always think of when seeing/hearing his name.

    Interesting that he nearly qualified for England and had a British passport. Wouldn't that have been interesting...

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on December 2, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Hope he stays fit for the entire series , Australia's fast bowling talents are amazing (and so brittle) , Ryan harris , pattinson , MJ , siddle , starc , cummins .. phew ! , but why do these guys keep getting injured ?? its the same here in India with umesh yadav and varun aaron (only 2 genuine speedsters for us) always getting injured , he (much like shane bond) would have ended as a one of the best in the world along with steyn if not for injuries, how unfortunate

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    We all agree that MJ has a very fragile confidence. If he is "rested" for this test on the grounds that the pitch wont suit him, the message sent across to MJ is " you are not good enough to bowl on pitches that do not offer bounce". I guess that would shatter his confidence more than a drubbing at the hands of Pommies. A good bowler can bowl well on any surface and MJ is a damn good bowler. He is pumped up and raring to go.

    Also, for the balance of the team, Faulkner should play instead of Bailey. Faulkner is a pretty fine bowler and can bat as evident in the India ODI series.

  • MaruthuDelft on December 2, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    He is only second to Steyn. An inspirational bowler.

  • chitti_cricket on December 2, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    If it is drop in pitch or bouncy pacy pitch it makes no difference to a man bowling @ 145-150KPH (Johnson) and a bit lesser speed bowlers like Fulkner, Watson, Siddel, Ryan et'el. In my thinking here in Adelaide as well Australia will pose a threat in fast bowling to England batsmen. I don't think current form and crop of England batsmen have any clues to raising, short pitched body line attacking pace bowlers with one good spin option. All aces are held by Aussies at this moment, England's lose of first test was not a fluke and has posed more questions than answers. Remember they folded within 200 in both innings and showed no intent or technique to cope with fast short pitched and good spinning ball. They are vulnerable to both of them. Aussie batsmen whereas showed both technique and intent while dealing the same. Look at Clarke how he dealt with short pitched stuff when countered. Timid mind makes batsmen technique seem nothing, like subcontinent batsmen always surrender.

  • landl47 on December 2, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    I understand completely where Harris is coming from. At age 34 and having missed as much cricket as he has, he wants to play every game he can. In his case, bowling every test as though it's his last is fairly near the truth.

    Saying he got through 4 tests in England OK is not quite true. As England pushed towards victory in the final test, he was sitting in the pavilion and only bad light saved Australia from losing a test while a bowler short. If I was selecting the Australian side, I would be thinking ahead and wondering whether he could play back-to-back tests with only 3 days rest in between. If the answer is no, then Adelaide is where I would rest him; it's likely to be a long, hard test for the pace bowlers and England will be aiming to keep Aus bowling for as long as possible.

    He's a wonderful bowler to watch and hopefully with good management he'll be around for a year or two yet.

  • CM1000 on December 2, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    @_0965 - in the past few years I would have shared your thoughts about Johnson, but based on his confidence, not his fitness. He seems to have an extremely resilient body, if not an extremely resilient mind in the last few years. But I would definitely play him in Adelaide, because I think his head is now in the right place and he has such confidence after the Gabba that getting hit around a bit in Adelaide, if that happens, he will still be very confident going to the WACA which is his best ground. Also, he has now been clearly told by Lehman and Clarke that he is a strike bowler, and if he goes for a few runs, that's ok. I also suspect that he might still cause England some trouble in Adelaide - like he did India bowling short on those flat roads in the recent ODI series - surely Adelaide can be no worse that that? But they must play 5 bowlers (with Faulkner) to help lighten Harris's load (who is the key), and in case one of them breaks down mid-match like Pattinson did last year.

  • jonesy2 on December 2, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    best bowler in the world along with steyn and couldn't be happier that he is, loved his work every since I first saw him

  • Green_and_Gold on December 2, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    The Aus top order batsman need to bat long - 4 sessions plus. That would give the bowlers a rest throughout the match and give us a chance to win or draw. If we dont bat long and our bowlers dont do well then we would go into Perth 1-1. I think the Aus strategy is spot on - go for the win by playing the best players. Potentially brining in another bowler (Falulks) to manage the bowling workload. Focus on the scoreline reading 2-0.

  • First_Drop on December 2, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @_9065 - that might not be a bad call. I'm quite concnerned that, without the asistance offered by the Gabba pitch , Mitch will struggle with a negaitve impact on his fragile(?) confidence. However, we then have an attack of Harris, Faulkner, Siddle and Lyon, with, presumably, a 4th seamer to come in - who would that be? Despite Australia's deep bowling resources, we find ourselves at the brink of depletion (as a result of the long injury list) - we would be looking to debut another seamer.

  • gsingh7 on December 2, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    harris is best pacer in aus bar none. johnson is hot and cold but not consistent like harris. harris also bowls well on indian tracks in ipl for kings 11. johnson needs to bowl accurately for months to surpass harris. harris -johnson combo is too much for english batsmen who are uncomfortable playing rising bouncers. predicting clean sweep for aussies and loss of ranking points for english team.

  • on December 2, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Harris is currently the best bowler in this aussie team,if they rest him,i think it will be a big mistake. I hope he will play all 5 tests.

  • Cricmaths123 on December 2, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    I think Australia should rest Mitchell Johnson for Adelaide because it is a slow pitch and quite helpful to the batsmen so he would not be very effective. There is a gap of only3 days between this test and Perth test. It is important that he plays the Perth test as there is extra bounce on that pitch and Johnson will be very effective there. He can even bowl England out and help Australia win the test match.

  • on December 2, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    england is very good test side. they prove in the recent tests and they wil also prove in 2nd ashes test that they are best. any player of england have capable to turn test in england favour.

  • whoster on December 2, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Ryan Harris is a real credit to the Aussie side. There's probably been many times where he thought he'd never play another Test, but he's the type that never complains and just gets on with the job. He was without doubt the top bowler from either side during the English series, and he should always be picked whenever fit, and regardless of his injury record. Nice also to hear Harris talk so respectfully about the England players. If he plays the majority of Tests in this series, it's going to be a huge challenge for England to come back.

    Darren Lehmann and David Warner could learn a thing or two from Harris about humility, and respect for the opposition.

  • Vishnu27 on December 2, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @Srinivasan Narayanan: the traditional order of Australia Ashes series has for as long as I can remember been Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney. That's just how it is.

  • anton1234 on December 2, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    You always have to play what you feel is your best 11 in any test unless the series is already over, in which case you can experiment. But as long as the series is alive then you absolutely have to play your best 11. And in no way is Faulkner better than Harris. You cannot save players for future test matches if they are fit to play now. You may come to regret it.

    Faulkner's inclusion ahead of Bailey in this particular match I believe will make it a better 11, given the likely conditions.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 2, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    What a magnificent bowler ! I draw anyone who's interested to Harris's record in tests at Adelaide. I understand the Mitch Hysteria, and even that Lyon is being talked up. Anyone who didn't see Harris as the best bowler in Brisbane was watching a different game to the one I was.

  • on December 2, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Did someone say Aus got its schedule wrong? They shd have had Perth before Adelaide (even if it means criss crossing the country) so that the likes of Harris and Mitch can have a go at full tilt in the 2nd Test and then rested for the Adelaide Oval which anyway will not be very friendly to them. Now they are on huge gamble that neither of these two spearheads breakdown at Adelaide if England shrewdly manages to do some stonewalling and wear them out. The Ozs cd also use Harris and Johnson in short bursts with Siddle and Faulkner donning the stock bowlers role if necessary. A 4-3-2, 3-3-2, and 3-2-2 over spells over the day (beginning of session, across drinks and end of session) may keep these two men fairly fresh over a day and a session if need be. Having to negotiate some 50 overs a day from the spearheads will leave England not much room to see them off either. The key then will be how much Siddle and the rest can sustain the pressure when the top 2 are off the firing line.

  • Kart_in_Quartz on December 2, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    How I wish Harris was part of the ODI squad as well. He was well and truly on course to bag the fastest to 50 ODI wickets... When CA decided to cast him away on and off for longer runs, and later succumbed to frequent injuries... He is still on track for being the fastest Aussie to get there if he recommences... Hope CA reads this piece and ponders to act... Had he been from the sub-continent, he would've held a few records by now!

  • Beertjie on December 2, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Just hope they don't tweak any muscles and joints. Bairstow is likely to be dismissed bowled so that's one down. Wonder how the other B's (Ballance and Bresnan) will fare, if they play.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Johnson has been lethal at Brisbane but Harris was the stand out bowler in the Ashes series in England. Australia needs a fit Harris to last thru till the last test. They have a great chance to regain the Ashes if Harris and Johnson continue to maim England.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    A draw is shaping up. It will be interesting to see if Johnson will be effective. Since it's batting friendly, you need pitch it up on short-of-good-length, an area where Mitchy is wayward. He's deadly when he's bowling short but in such turfs, that's a question mark.

  • milepost on December 2, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    On current form it's a reasonable assumption that Australia will win in Adelaide.

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  • milepost on December 2, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    On current form it's a reasonable assumption that Australia will win in Adelaide.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    A draw is shaping up. It will be interesting to see if Johnson will be effective. Since it's batting friendly, you need pitch it up on short-of-good-length, an area where Mitchy is wayward. He's deadly when he's bowling short but in such turfs, that's a question mark.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Johnson has been lethal at Brisbane but Harris was the stand out bowler in the Ashes series in England. Australia needs a fit Harris to last thru till the last test. They have a great chance to regain the Ashes if Harris and Johnson continue to maim England.

  • Beertjie on December 2, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Just hope they don't tweak any muscles and joints. Bairstow is likely to be dismissed bowled so that's one down. Wonder how the other B's (Ballance and Bresnan) will fare, if they play.

  • Kart_in_Quartz on December 2, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    How I wish Harris was part of the ODI squad as well. He was well and truly on course to bag the fastest to 50 ODI wickets... When CA decided to cast him away on and off for longer runs, and later succumbed to frequent injuries... He is still on track for being the fastest Aussie to get there if he recommences... Hope CA reads this piece and ponders to act... Had he been from the sub-continent, he would've held a few records by now!

  • on December 2, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Did someone say Aus got its schedule wrong? They shd have had Perth before Adelaide (even if it means criss crossing the country) so that the likes of Harris and Mitch can have a go at full tilt in the 2nd Test and then rested for the Adelaide Oval which anyway will not be very friendly to them. Now they are on huge gamble that neither of these two spearheads breakdown at Adelaide if England shrewdly manages to do some stonewalling and wear them out. The Ozs cd also use Harris and Johnson in short bursts with Siddle and Faulkner donning the stock bowlers role if necessary. A 4-3-2, 3-3-2, and 3-2-2 over spells over the day (beginning of session, across drinks and end of session) may keep these two men fairly fresh over a day and a session if need be. Having to negotiate some 50 overs a day from the spearheads will leave England not much room to see them off either. The key then will be how much Siddle and the rest can sustain the pressure when the top 2 are off the firing line.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 2, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    What a magnificent bowler ! I draw anyone who's interested to Harris's record in tests at Adelaide. I understand the Mitch Hysteria, and even that Lyon is being talked up. Anyone who didn't see Harris as the best bowler in Brisbane was watching a different game to the one I was.

  • anton1234 on December 2, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    You always have to play what you feel is your best 11 in any test unless the series is already over, in which case you can experiment. But as long as the series is alive then you absolutely have to play your best 11. And in no way is Faulkner better than Harris. You cannot save players for future test matches if they are fit to play now. You may come to regret it.

    Faulkner's inclusion ahead of Bailey in this particular match I believe will make it a better 11, given the likely conditions.

  • Vishnu27 on December 2, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @Srinivasan Narayanan: the traditional order of Australia Ashes series has for as long as I can remember been Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney. That's just how it is.

  • whoster on December 2, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Ryan Harris is a real credit to the Aussie side. There's probably been many times where he thought he'd never play another Test, but he's the type that never complains and just gets on with the job. He was without doubt the top bowler from either side during the English series, and he should always be picked whenever fit, and regardless of his injury record. Nice also to hear Harris talk so respectfully about the England players. If he plays the majority of Tests in this series, it's going to be a huge challenge for England to come back.

    Darren Lehmann and David Warner could learn a thing or two from Harris about humility, and respect for the opposition.