Having last played a Test match in the Ashes in 2019 to now likely to open in the first Test against India; things have turned in favour of Marcus Harris pretty quickly and in unexpected ways.
A couple of weeks ago the debate was about who will get the nod between Joe Burns and Will Pucovski to partner David Warner in Adelaide. It has now shifted to Australia looking for back-up of back-up options for the opening slot; even contemplating to open with Marnus Labuschagne or Matthew Wade.
Warner suffered a groin injury in the ODI series and was ruled out of the T20I series and later the day-night Test in Adelaide. This meant that Pucovski and Burns were locked in to open before the former was hit on the head by a Navdeep Saini bouncer in the first warm-up match. The youngster has suffered a concussion and is also ruled out from the pink-ball contest against India.
This leaves the Australian selectors with an out of form Joe Burns, and Marcus Harris, who will be returning to the Test side after more than a year. Marnus Labuschagne, who opened in the third ODI and bats at number 3 has made it clear that he will be ready to open if asked. Also, former captain, Michael Clarke suggested pushing Matthew Wade at the top, as he has experience of batting at the top in T20 cricket.
I feel pretty ready to go: Marcus Harris
Marcus Harris is having a terrific domestic season where he averages 118.33 in two Sheffield Shield domestic first-class matches but has been overshadowed by his Victorian teammate, Will Pucvoksi. Harris had scores of 35, 25*, and 26 in the three practice innings. He feels fortunate to get a recall into the national side.
“There’s obviously been a bit of stuff going on with everything in the last couple of weeks, so it’s been good to have a hit against the Indian boys and another hit today. It feels like I’m in the right place at the right time, but it feels like I’ve been playing really well as well. It’s been good, not to be the one that’s spoken about too much,” Marcus Harris told Fox Cricket.
The left-hander made his debut against India in Adelaide two years ago. However, he will much calmer now than he was on his maiden innings. He has worked in domestic cricket after being dropped for his average of 24 in 9 Tests. The 28-year-old feels confident about facing the Indian pacers if given an opportunity next week.
“I obviously wasn’t in the Test side last summer so I didn’t have that distraction coming into this summer and I’ve just been focused on what I need to do, so that’s been good. Now I’ve found myself where I am, and I feel pretty ready to go and I’m looking forward to it,” Macus Harris added.