Sydney, Nov 8 (IANS) Victoria batter Marcus Harris could be emerging as the frontrunner to partner David Warner at the top when the decision is taken on the Australian squad for the Ashes, beginning on December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane.
Harris played the fourth Test against India earlier this year, scoring five and 38 respectively, and with a question mark over Will Pucovski’s fitness after he suffered a 10th concussion during practice last month, the 29-year-old could be considered by Cricket Australia (CA) for the five-Test series against arch-rivals England.
Australia’s former pace bowler Ryan Harris feels Marcus has altered his technique to succeed at the top of the order.
“I would say David Warner and Marcus Harris, that’d be my tip,” Ryan Harris told SEN Breakfast on Monday.
“He’s had a few dramas over in England in the last series, it’s a bit different playing in Australia. By all reports, he’s made some technical adjustments that sort of eliminate where he came undone in England last time. The only problem we’ve got is he’s another left-hander, we’ve got so many of them,” added Ryan Harris.
Usman Khawaja too appears to be in contention, with the 24-year-old slamming two centuries this Sheffield Shield season.
Veteran cricket writer Robert Craddock felt that Marcus Harris was ahead of Khawaja in the race to open the batting for Australia.
“I’ve got Marcus Harris a nose in front of Usman Khawaja in a really tight one for the opening spot. I feel like Khawaja, who’s batting at four for Queensland, would prefer to bat at number five, but will take any spot. I think he’ll be in the squad somewhere, but can he make the final 11? That’s how it is at the moment, but it’s very open to form over the next couple of weeks, and I believe they are not settled on either position,” said Craddock.
Several members of the England squad, including skipper Joe Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes and pace bowler James Anderson touched down in Queensland on November 6, a month before the start of the opening Test.
The touring party, which also has opening batter Rory Burns and England pacer Stuart Broad, are undergoing a 14-day quarantine at Gold Coast and will be joined by other members of the squad following the completion of the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE.