Har­ris proves Mickey Arthur’s com­ments were wrong

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIA’S Ashes tri­umph has been cast as a fairy­tale swan­song for an age­ing team, but 34-year-old pace­man Ryan Har­ris has urged se­lec­tors not to pen­sion off the grey­beards need­lessly.

Six of the 11 who trounced Eng­land in three straight matches to win back the cov­eted urn are over 30, and Aus­tralia may have a very dif­fer­ent team for the next Ashes in 2015.

For­mer coach, South African Mickey Arthur, who was sacked be­fore the first of the back-to-back Ashes se­ries in Eng­land, cast doubt on the longevity of some of the play­ers, in­clud­ing 32- year- old cap­tain Michael Clarke, who is man­ag­ing a back con­di­tion.

“I read Mickey Arthur’s com­ments about the need to re­build and I don’t re­ally want to get into it be­cause I don’t want to start another furore. But I think he’s wrong,” Har­ris said yes­ter­day.

“If you’re older and you’re good enough to play at this level, then you should be picked.

“If you nick off all your old blokes, who are the younger ones go­ing to learn from?”

Aus­tralia’s se­lec­tors have tra­di­tion­ally been the whip­ping boys of a feisty lo­cal me­dia, but were uni­ver­sally slammed for dump­ing open­ing bats­man Si­mon Katich at the age of 35 af­ter he suf­fered an in­jury dur­ing the 2010-11 Ashes se­ries.

His re­place­ment Phillip Hughes, 13 years his ju­nior, failed to ce­ment his place de­spite be­ing handed mul­ti­ple chances.

A litany of in­juries has forced Har­ris to take time to ac­cu­mu­late his 19 Test ap­pear­ances, but his ex­cel­lent form in the Ashes, as the lead­ing wicket-taker in the north­ern se­ries, and 12 wick­ets Down Un­der, has jus­ti­fied the se­lec­tors’ pa­tience with his fit­ness trou­bles.

Har­ris is still bat­tling to re­cover from a knee in­jury, but said his sur­geon was “shocked” at how well he was pro­gress­ing.

“I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen with my knee,” he said.

“I play ev­ery Test like it’s my last. I know the end is close, but whether it’s next week af­ter the Mel­bourne Test or whether it’s in two years, I don’t know.”

Aus­tralia play Eng­land in the fourth Ashes Test in Mel­bourne, start­ing on De­cem­ber 26. – Reuters

GALLO IM­AGES

RYAN HAR­RIS: “If you’re older, but good enough, you should play.”

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