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Australia’s Harris savours vote of confidence after Ashes struggles

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MELBOURNE, Nov 24 (Reuters) – If discovering a gap accomplice for David Warner is Australia’s longest-running drama in check cricket, Marcus Harris has been a recurring character who has by no means fairly nailed the half.

The Victoria batsman has been dropped twice by his 10-test profession, failed miserably within the 2019 Ashes in England, and solely gained his place again in opposition to India in January after a succession of accidents.

Against that backdrop, the 29-year-old finds himself thrust into the cauldron of one other Ashes sequence, with the added burden of needing to carry out in entrance of residence followers.

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His numbers do little to encourage confidence.

Harris has averaged below 24 in checks and a modest 39.76 over a protracted first-class profession.

Yet selectors have accomplished every thing they’ll to ease his entry, anointing him Warner’s accomplice earlier than the beginning of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield marketing campaign in late-October.

That meant ignoring the claims of the in-form Usman Khawaja, who boasts a terrific file as an opener however has been relegated to battling Travis Head for a center order slot.

Harris may also be afforded time within the function, based on selector George Bailey, who hopes that can assist the batsman unfold his wings.

“It’s good for your confidence as a player to sort of know where you stand and having the (support) of people is really good,” Harris informed reporters on Wednesday.

“It puts your mind at ease a little bit. Your mind can run, obviously, coming into a big series like the Ashes with the amount of attention that’s brought to it.”

Harris changed discarded opener Cameron Bancroft through the 2019 Ashes and averaged 9.66 from his three checks within the drawn sequence.

Both he and fellow lefthander Warner, who averaged 9.50 in a horror marketing campaign, struggled when Stuart Broad and England’s seamers bowled across the wicket to them.

Harris didn’t seem in check whites once more till the fourth match in opposition to India in Brisbane however returned to England this yr for a season with county aspect Leicestershire, the place he scored three centuries and averaged 54.58.

“That was really beneficial, I really enjoyed that,” stated Harris.

“Obviously, it’s been a ploy that a lot of teams have employed against me now, to come around the wicket and I feel like I’ve worked really hard on the technical side of my game and tactical to try and combat that.”

Being extra aware of Australia’s pitches ought to assist Harris, although that has not meant massive runs at check stage.

Lacking a century and having solely two fifties to his identify, Harris has usually proved his personal worst enemy by squandering promising begins.

He admitted to being an excessive amount of of a “dasher” prior to now and says he’s now extra affected person.

“I think my initial idea of trying to get through the twenties was to dash as quickly as I could,” he stated.

“As I’ve got a bit older and more experienced I let the game and the bowlers come to me a bit more.”

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Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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Cricket - Ashes 2019 - Fifth Test - England v Australia - Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 15, 2019. England's Stuart Broad takes the wicket of Australia's Marcus Harris. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Cricket - Ashes 2019 - Fifth Test - England v Australia - Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 13, 2019. England's Jofra Archer celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Marcus Harris. Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

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