Harris wins support as Hazlewood faces fitness fight for Boxing Day – Sydney Morning Herald


Richardson said the Australian attack, including Green, provided match-winning variety.

“We’ve got someone like ‘Greeny’ who feels like he can get the most bounce,” Richardson said.

“‘Starcy’ bowling at 145 kilometres per hour, it’s just another string to the bow for the team to have different variations for different scenarios. If my job is to hit the stumps, then that’s what I’m going to try and do. Potentially being a little bit skiddier on wickets that are up-and-down, that may be an advantage.”

Australia’s winning form is a boost for opener Marcus Harris in his bid to retain his spot ahead of Usman Khawaja, but Harris will need to perform on his home ground if he is to guarantee his spot for Sydney.

MCG curator Matt Page is determined to provide a deck that aids batting and bowling in the same manner the past two Tests at the venue, against India and New Zealand, have done. Harris knows the conditions in Melbourne well, and averages 40 in first-class cricket there.

Now in his third incarnation as a Test opener, Harris, 29, has scores of three, nine not out, three and 23 through the series. He averages 22.19 from 12 Tests, with Alec Bannerman the only Australian batter to have opened 20 times or more and have a lower average than Harris.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor said on Tuesday that Harris deserved another Test.

Marcus Harris walks off after being caught out during the fourth day of the Adelaide Test.

Marcus Harris walks off after being caught out during the fourth day of the Adelaide Test. Credit:AP

“I would still be playing Harris in the next Test match, I would give him one more go at least, particularly now that Australia is 2-0 up,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports.

“I think you really want to try and bring a younger player on. I think if you go back to Usman Khawaja at this stage – and he might play well, but then you’ve two 35-year-olds opening the batting for Australia.

“What you really want is a younger guy opening with the batting with a senior David Warner. I would certainly be giving Marcus Harris one more go and hopefully on his home Test match, he comes up good on Boxing Day.”


England arrive in Melbourne in disarray, having admitted they got their selections wrong in Adelaide and then failed to bowl the lengths skipper Joe Root wanted. Root is also under growing pressure, whether that be from former England skipper Mike Atherton, who insists Root is fighting to retain his role, or from Ricky Ponting, who questioned why Root could not get his bowlers to do as he had asked.

The tourists’ poor batting is also an issue and more changes are likely come Sunday, with four players in the Big Bash League under consideration to be drafted into the squad.

Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood, who claimed 4-22 for the Sydney Thunder on Sunday and was a member of the England Lions squad that toured here recently, is on standby, while James Vince, Sam Billings and Ben Duckett are under consideration.

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