Perth form holds key for bat­tling opener

Mercury (Hobart) - - CRICKET - RUS­SELL GOULD Mel­bourne

TEST bats­man Mar­cus Har­ris says his chances of open­ing along­side David Warner against Pak­istan in Bris­bane rest on his form for Aus­tralia A in its match against the tourists in Perth start­ing on Mon­day.

The 27-year-old opener doesn’t have to be re­minded he hasn’t yet done enough in his nine Tests to ce­ment his po­si­tion in the Aus­tralian top or­der. But as he pre­pares for an­other show­down with his com­peti­tors for the open­ing spot along­side Warner, the 27year-old isn’t wast­ing time look­ing around cor­ners for the an­swer to nail down his spot.

He said selec­tion un­cer­tainty, for any team, was “part and par­cel of be­ing a pro­fes­sional crick­eter”.

And Har­ris, who has nearly 6000 first-class runs in the bank, knows lots more of them are the only way to avoid the re­volv­ing door.

“This time last year I just went about play­ing shield cricket and if I got picked in the Aussie side I got picked. I’m still pretty much the same now,” Har­ris said be­fore fly­ing to Perth for the Aus­tralia A clash with Pak­istan. “I’ve played nine Test matches but I feel like I have played a lot of cricket, I’ve played nearly 90 first-class games, so I’ve got ex­pe­ri­ence un­der my belt.

“It would be nice to be ce­mented in the side ... but I’ve left my­self in this sit­u­a­tion. I don’t lose any sleep over it. I just know what I need to do and that sits well with me.”

A cen­tury to start the shield sea­son was per­fect for Har­ris, who put him­self un­der selec­tion pres­sure by fail­ing to pass 19 in six in­nings dur­ing the Ashes. But the left-han­der, who scored 1188 shield runs last sum­mer while also play­ing six Tests, came home adamant he wasn’t out of form.

“I came back [from Eng­land] con­fi­dent, I knew my game was good, and if I ap­plied my­self long enough I’d be fine,” Har­ris said.

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