Australia A Tour of England - Men's
Harris helps young quick in race against the clock
Jhye Richardson has the support of former Australian quick Ryan Harris in his bid to find full fitness ahead of Australia's Ashes campaign
11 June 2019, 06:58 PM AEST
Former Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris says boom young quick Jhye Richardson is "definitely" in with a shot of making the Ashes but concedes time is running out.
Richardson is back bowling, albeit off a shortened run, under the watchful eye of Harris in Brisbane almost three months after dislocating his right bowling shoulder in an ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah.
The 22-year-old was initially named in Australia's World Cup squad off the back of his stellar summer in all forms for Australia but once he was deemed unfit he was replaced by namesake Kane Richardson in the lead-up to the squad departing for their title defence.
Harris, who will head to the UK early next month to serve as an assistant coach on Australia A's three-match four-day tour, said Richardson is focused on making a late run for an Ashes berth but has been cautioned about coming back too early.
"The clock is against him but he's definitely a chance," Harris said on this week's episode of The Unplayable Podcast.
"He's rolling his arm over, he bowled four or five overs yesterday off just a half run and got his arm over.
"It started slow but by the end it was real good. I know he's pretty excited and determined to try and be on that tour.
"But again, it's not trying to rush that too much because it's his bowling shoulder"
For Richardson to make the Ashes squad he would likely have to play in at least one of the three four-day games on the 'A' tour, with the final match between Australia A and Australia in Southampton from July 23 perhaps his best chance.
While his shoulder is on the mend and improving each day, Richardson's biggest hurdle to overcome is not physical but mental, says Harris.
"I only had minor dramas with my shoulder when I was playing, I never had dislocation or reconstruction," Harris said.
"For me, it's a mental thing for him to be able to get that belief that his shoulder won't re-injure and get the confidence in that.
"We had a good chat yesterday and he feels better and better by the session.
"He's taking it slow. I hope he is fit for that tour and if he's not we don't want to rush him."
Richardson looked right at home with five wickets in his Test debut in January, bowling with control, pace and outswing – attributes that often equal success in English conditions.
The right-armer is, if fit, set to be in a pace shootout with a handful of high-quality fast bowlers to feature alongside experienced NSW trio Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the Ashes squad.
Australia have not won an Ashes series in England since 2001, and while the fast bowlers are not completely to blame for the barren run, Harris has pinpointed what the quicks must do if they are to pose a threat this northern summer.
He's also confident those who have been there before will have learnt from their mistakes.
"Get their lengths right, that's the one thing for me," Harris said. "They've got to get their lengths and their lines right.
"The three big guys – Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood – they can all swing the ball.
"Bowling with the Dukes ball is great fun but it's a challenge as well because you've got to make sure you put them in the right spot.
"Hitting the right lengths and limiting the width to the English batters, I think they'll do very, very well.
"Watching Starcy, he's bowling quick, so is Cummins, and watching Hazlewood in the last couple of weeks he's gliding in and letting the ball go at a very good pace.
"They've been there before and experienced it. It didn't go as well last time they were there when they had that experience.
"I know they're determined to change that and do very well this time."
Australia A tour of the UK
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Sean Abbott
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
June 20: Australia A v Northamptonshire, The County Ground, Northamptonshire
June 23: Australia A v Derbyshire, County Ground, Derby
June 25: Australia A v Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester
June 30: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 2: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 7-10: Australia A v Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire