Marcus Harris: The Australian opening batsman is hopeful of retaining Test spot on the back of solid performances in first-class cricket.
In the five innings that Australia batsman Marcus Harris has played for Leicestershire in the ongoing County Championship 2021, he has scored 212 runs at an average of 42.40 which includes one century and half-century each.
Harris’ top-two scores this season, 62 (145) against Gloucestershire and 101 (191) against Surrey, are special than usual milestone innings because he batted at No. 3 and didn’t open to accommodate regular opening batsman Sam Evans at the top of the order.
“I said to Paul Nixon [former England wicket-keeper batsman], our coach [at Leicestershire], ‘Mate, if you want him [Sam Evans] to open the batting, I’m more than happy to bat three, I’m not fussed’,” Harris was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
The familiar sound of the celebratory vuvuzela for @MarcusHarris14‘s maiden ton for the Running Foxes!
— Leicestershire County Cricket Club 🏏 (@leicsccc) May 6, 2021
Harris, who has played in excess of 100 first-class matches in his decade-long career, further opened up on not worrying much about his batting position at this stage of his career.
“It’s actually good if you bowl teams out towards the end of a session, you don’t have to exactly sprint off and get the pads on like you would if you open the batting. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t really worry about what position I bat in now – I’m happy to bat anywhere,” Harris said.
Marcus Harris banking on County Championship and Sheffield Shield to retain Test spot for Ashes 2021-22
An average of 23.77 after 19 Test innings is by no means impressive for an Australian opener. Been dropped after Ashes 2019, Harris made a comeback to the Australian XI in the final Test against India in Brisbane earlier this year.
While scores of 5 and 38 didn’t speak highly of Harris’ capability at the Gabba, he might still be opening the batting alongside David Warner against Afghanistan in Hobart later this year.
Harris, 28, acknowledges that he didn’t “go quite as well” at the highest level. However, the southpaw is hopeful of putting his name Test spot on the back of solid performances in adverse conditions in England and follow it up with scoring runs for Victoria in Sheffield Shield 2021-22.
“By the end of that Ashes series [in 2019], I didn’t go quite as well as I wanted to go and sort of hoped that I had [previously] played county cricket. In the position I’m in where I’ve been in and out of the Test side, having the opportunity to play all year round is going to be very beneficial to me.
“Playing in conditions over here is going to be different and challenging but good for my game, so I knew I had to take up the opportunity if it arose. I know if I can have a good county season and start the season well back home, I can at least put myself in a position to be spoken about being around the Test squad when that happens,” Harris further said.