Pakistan's Tour of Australia - Men's
Harris undaunted by rocky Test initiation
Vics opener says he is 'doing everything right' as he prepares to make his case for selection with Australia A against Pakistan
9 November 2019, 12:24 PM AEST
Australian opener Marcus Harris is adamant he has the right stuff for Test cricket, despite a rocky initiation.
The left-hander's inability to cement a Test berth means he is in a five-way contest for two spots.
Harris, Will Pucovski, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Joe Burns will stake their top order claims in a three-day Australia A match against Pakistan from November 11 at Perth Stadium, a match that will be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
The Victorian is the incumbent and the front runner to open with David Warner in the first Test against Pakistan at the Gabba from November 21, but Burns and Khawaja are hovering if Harris falters.
Overlooked for the first two Tests in this year's tumultuous Ashes series, Harris failed to score more than 20 when he replaced Cam Bancroft for the last three matches.
But he is averaging more than 50 so far in the Sheffield Shield and Harris said the Ashes had not dented his confidence or approach to the game.
"You can get to that point where you just go above and beyond and you can spiral out of control," he said of analysing his game.
"So I just try to stay level, as much as I can.
"I never felt like I got out of form in England, because I was not out there long enough to get out of form.
"I came back confident ... I knew my game was in good stead."
Harris has played nine Tests since last December and only scored one 50 for an average of 24.06.
"It's been a good initiation - tough, I probably haven't done as well as I wanted,"' he said.
"But in the same breath I've come in early against some high-class attacks, so it's been a great learning curve.
"I feel like I'm doing everything right.
"I've left myself in this situation, but it's just part of being a professional cricketer and I don't lose any sleep over it."
Harris said he learned a lot from the Ashes series, particularly being around Steve Smith.
While Smith has a unique batting technique, Harris took plenty from his attitude.
"He's No.1 in the world for a reason, but just the way he occupies the crease and his hunger to make runs," Harris said.
"He never really seems satisfied, no matter how well he's done.
"When you ask him (for) tips and he just says 'hit the ball', it's not that easy.
"He's very open and happy to help people – he's great to lean on, Smithy."
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: TBC
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
Warm-up match: v Australia A, November 11-13, Perth Stadium (d/n)
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 15-16, WACA Ground
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba (Seven, Fox & Kayo)