The Ashes 2021-22 – Marcus Harris grateful for “clear communication” from manager George Bailey

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Knowing he was locked up as David Warner’s partner for the Ashes’ start reassured the Australian opener

Marcus Harris is grateful for National Coach George Bailey’s vote of confidence at the start of the season that saw him locked as David Warner’s opening partner for the Ashes’ start.
When Will Pucovski’s latest concussion ruled him out, there was a debate over who would go alongside Warner at the Gabba – even if Harris was the India series holder in January – but he was given the nod from Bailey a few weeks ago. the team has been confirmed.
Harris made it a century in Sheffield Shield’s first game of the season against New South Wales, and although he failed twice in the rematch at the MCG, he also goes into the ashes as a result of a strong campaign abroad with Leicestershire.

“I probably spoke to Bails [George Bailey] about a week before we left for Sydney for Shield’s opener, ”said Harris. “We just had a great conversation. It was just good to have clear communication with a manager about what I was doing and what they were thinking for me.

“It’s good for your confidence as a player to know where you are at and having the support of the people is really good. It reassures you a bit, your mind can obviously run into going into a big series on the Ashes with the amount of attention given to it, so not having to worry about it for probably a month before the first game was pretty good. “

Bailey also said Harris, who is averaging 23.77 on 10 tests, would be awarded the role as Australia look to cement an opening pair – at least for the rest of Warner’s career. The duo got off to a rocky start against England in the 2019 Ashes when Stuart Broad’s wicket turn line caused a mountain of trouble, but they added 89 in the second set against India in Brisbane more early this year.

“David brings a lot of energy to the crisis and to the partnership,” said Harris. “Obviously for a long time he dominated world cricket. So he takes a lot of pressure off, you don’t feel any pressure to score. I know we had a tough streak in England but in the second set against l ‘India we put 80 or 90.

“Anytime you can play with another player who takes a lot of pressure off you, it makes your job a little easier. Hopefully we can forge something pretty good – we’ll get through this summer first – but during the next period. “

Harris feels better equipped for his last run in the Test team after the series challenges in England two years ago where he replaced Cameron Bancroft after two Tests. Whether the English rapids can pose the same challenge in Australian conditions as at home remains to be seen, but Harris is confident he can respond.

“It’s a ploy a lot of teams have used against me now to get around the wicket,” he said. “I feel like I’ve worked really hard on the technical side of my game and tactically to try and fight this. The proof will be in the pudding on December 8th, but I feel like ‘working really hard to make it go well. “

Harris had shown significant promise in his debut series against India in 2018-19 with two half centuries and his average peaked at 37.75 after five matches before dropping to its current level. He’s always had the ability to beat time at the national level – his first Century First Class of 157 in 2011 came from 411 balls and shortly before his 2018 debut, he set a career-high undefeated 250 out of 403. – but now he feels that he has found a better tempo.

“My original idea of ​​trying to get through the 20s was to go for it as fast as possible, but being a little older and more experienced, I just let the game come to me a bit more and let the bowlers come. to me a little more.

“It probably comes down to wanting to do a lot of races, to do big races and to have patience. In Shield’s first game, I think I faced 360 balls, so it’s not just about do 50 or 100. out of season I had some really good heats where I made big hundreds and over the last couple of years I have done some 200s. It comes down to having a little personal motivation. and wanting to really do well and lead in front of your team. “

Andrew McGlashan is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo


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