With less than a month to go for the awaited Ashes series, chairman of selectors of the Australian cricket team George Bailey has confirmed that Marcus Harris will partner with David Warner to open the batting for the side in the contest. While announcing, Bailey also revealed that the selection was based on the consistency Harris showed in the first-class games.
Harris, who recently hit a 137 in Victoria’s win over New South Wales in the ongoing Sheffield Shield, has a first-class batting average of 39.76. He has scored 7714 runs in 116 matches with his highest score being unbeaten 250. Talking about his Test career, the left-arm batter had made his debut in the format in 2018 and has been in and out of the side since then. He has played 10 Tests for Australia, scoring 428 runs with his highest score being 79. He is yet to make debut in other formats at the highest level.
Harry’s only had a limited opportunity in the past: George Bailey
Apart from praising the batting consistency of Harris, Bailey also threw light on how the selectors think about the player.
“Harry’s only had a limited opportunity in the past, and he’s been in and out a bit, so we’d love nothing more than for him to hopefully to get an opportunity to get an extended run at it,” Bailey told radio RSN, adding, “What we have liked is his consistency… He’s obviously been a prolific run-scorer at domestic level here, but also love the fact he went overseas and had a great year for Leicester as well.”
On finalising the openers days ahead of the series, a presumably relieved Bailey said, “It gives you great confidence as a selector when you know your opening batters are locked away as far as a Test series go.”
“It’s a hard spot to bat and to get those places settled, it’s really important,” he added.
Australia will be announcing their squad for the Ashes series soon, however, Bailey informed that the player for the number 5 spot is still not finalised. “That No.5 spot is open, but we’re starting to get fairly close there,” he said.