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Ashes artillery better than '13-14: Harris

Key member of Australia's last Ashes-winning side says current fast-bowling trio is more potent than four years ago

Ryan Harris, a lynchpin of the Australia outfit that routed England 5-0 in the previous Ashes campaign fought Down Under, believes the current iteration of the hosts' fast-bowling weaponry is even more potent than four years ago.

Harris, now a Cricket Australia High Performance Coach, will oversee a team of mostly young players uncapped at state level in a four-day first-class tour game against England that starts at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow.

The 38-year-old former paceman, who claimed 22 wickets at 19.31 as Mitchell Johnson's partner-in-carnage during the 2013-14 summer, believes it will be the pace attacks of both sides that should prove decisive in the coming battle that starts in Brisbane later this month.

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But he claims Australia will take an edge into that contest, with the likely line-up for the first Magellan Ashes Test in Brisbane of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins an even greater threat than that posed by himself, Johnson and Peter Siddle through all five Tests of 2013-14.

"Hazlewood's probably doing the job that I did (four years ago) and he's quicker than me, and he gets more bounce," Harris said at Adelaide Oval today ahead of the day-night tour game that starts tomorrow afternoon.

"And you've got Starc who can definitely do a Johnson role, and you've got Cummins so you've probably got an extra bit of pace.

"Cummins on his day he's fast as well.

"Obviously we did a good job last time, but the key is going to be working as a team, as a bowling unit.

"That's what we did well last time and obviously got the results."

While Harris will be in Brisbane when the Australia squad assembles in the days before the opening Test, he has indicated that he won't be directly involved in passing on his insights to the incumbent quicks, unless they specifically ask him.

Where he won't have detailed expertise to share is on questions relating to the behaviour of the pink ball, given that Harris' damaged knees forced him into retirement months before the inaugural day-night Test was staged in Adelaide in 2015.

Day two highlights: ENG v WA XI

However, as coach of the CA XI that will be led by former Test keeper Tim Paine over the coming days, he will not only gain a keener perspective on how the pink ball behaves as well as how competently or otherwise the England players handle it.

In his conversations with current Test and Sheffield Shield players, Harris has gained some ideas as to how the seamer-friendly Adelaide pitch will perform in the tour game and the second Ashes Test that begins on December 2.

"The ball will probably swing early around start time, it may stop swinging in that sort of 30-45 overs and then when it gets to dusk the grass seems to stand up and it zips around," he said.

"We saw in the Shield game the other week (between New South Wales and South Australia) that Starc got it to talk a bit around that time when the sun goes down.

"Talking to a couple of boys they find it tough to bat around that time so that's where we'll try to make it as hard as we can for them.

"Hopefully we're not batting around that time, that's my plan.

"But they (England) will have to get used to that real hard seeing time, and we've got some good bowlers here.

"We haven't got the pace of Starc or Cummins or Hazlewood, but they'll have to get used to it.

"For our blokes, it's just an opportunity.

"There's a few guys that are probably a little bit dirty they're not playing Shield cricket for their states, and they want to be doing that.

"We're not here to make it easy for England, we want to make sure it's a tough prep going into a big series.

"I know being on these sorts of tours, the warm-up games can set the tone for the tour.

"You don't want to lose so I guess our job is to make it as tough as we can."

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

Gillette T20 INTL Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21