Perth form holds key for battling opener
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.