Target is to play all five Ashes Tests: Aussie pacer Harris

Canterbury, June 28 (IANS) Australia bowler Ryan Harris is determined to feature in all five Ashes Tests this summer and pick up just where he left off here in 2013, when he was Australia’s leading bowler in the series against England.

Harris returned from a near six-month competitive layoff in the tour match against English county side Kent where he claimed two wickets on the third day on Saturday, and more importantly said he found his rhythm.

But after missing the West Indies series for the birth of his son Carter, the previously automatic selection finds himself in a duel with the incumbent trio Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

“I’m here to play five Tests. I want to play as much as I can, but the disadvantage of that is I missed a tour. It was for a good reason, for my wife having a baby, but it gives my spot away and the guys performed beautifully,” Harris was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.

“I’m just here to try to get some rhythm, take some wickets, and make it hard for Rod (Marsh) and Darren (Lehmann) to pick a bowling group for that first Test,” he said.

Harris, having just returned to an Australian squad that boasts a red-hot battery of fast bowlers even without him, may be left out of the first Test team with an eye towards the second Ashes contest at Lord’s, where he was so outstanding two years ago.

Harris wanted to play in that first Test two years ago and believed then that he could have but in hindsight said selectors made the right call.

“Absolutely I thought at the time I could have played, but maybe I was kidding myself,” he said.

“I probably wasn’t right when I look back on it. I had a good chat with Darren about it and the time I spent with (then bowling coach) Ali de Winter back then in that Nottingham Test, something clicked, whatever it was worked and I came out and bowled well at Lord’s,” Harris said.

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