Cricket

Harris insists he's fit for Ashes

2015-06-27 21:31
Ryan Harris (Gallo)

Canterbury - Ryan Harris was adamant Saturday he had come to play England in all five Ashes Tests following an international career blighted by a succession of knee problems.

The 35-year-old fast bowler made his Test debut in 2010 but has played in just 27 Tests.

Harris took two for 51 in 16 lively overs as Australia dismissed Kent for 280 on Saturday's third day of their four-day tour opener in Canterbury, having themselves piled up 507 for eight declared in their first innings.

Australia begin the defence of the Ashes at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens on July 8 and this week Harris heard coach Darren Lehmann say he was "short of a gallop".

"My knee gets sore but my body itself feels really good," said Harris after stumps.

"To grab a couple of wickets and some rhythm was very satisfying," explained Harris, competing for a Test place alongside the likes of fellow quicks Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

"Everyone should be fighting for those Test spots. I'm here to play five Tests and I want to play as much as I can," Harris said.

"I'm just here to try to get some rhythm, get some wickets and make it hard for the selectors to pick a bowling group for that first Test."

Harris added: "Hopefully I'm in it, but if I'm not then someone else is doing a better job and hopefully we're winning Test matches and that's the way it goes.

"I think I'm pretty good, but Darren was probably correct in saying what he did because I haven't had too many games, and it's hard to simulate this match intensity.

"It was quite sore on Friday night but I came out this morning and bowled and I'm doing that quite well.

"It didn't stop me from bowling and that's good, and it's only going to get better," said Harris after Australia ended the third day on 322 for four in their second innings following a rapid century from Mitchell Marsh which left them with a huge 549-run lead.

Harris, Australia's leading wicket-taker during England's 3-0 series win in the 2013 Ashes series, said past deeds counted for little.

"It's all on immediate performance, you never have credits; that's the way I look at it anyway, I wish you did," said Harris.

Harris accepted he had taken a calculated risk in missing Australia's recent 2-0 series win in the West Indies tour so he could attend the birth of his son.

"Missing a tour was my doing and you give someone else an opportunity," he said.

"I'm here to play five Tests and all I want to do is show that I'm bowling well.

"If I'm not in that first Test squad then someone else is bowling better, and hopefully we win the Test and win the Ashes.

"If that's the way it's got to be, then what matters is we win."

Read more on:    ashes  |  ryan harris  |  cricket
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