Harris Dropped, Australia Unsure on Bowling Attack

Harris Dropped, Australia Unsure on Bowling Attack
Photo 38859156 © Arnab Maity | Dreamstime.com

Australia have axed opener Marcus Harris for the fifth Ashes Test with Travis Head returning while the make-up of the bowling attack remains up in the air.

The Aussies will look to seal a 4-0 Ashes series triumph over England with victory in the fifth Test starting on Friday in Hobart.

Head, who scored a century in the first Test in Brisbane, had missed the fourth Test due to COVID-19 but has been recalled while his replacement Usman Khawaja holds his spot after twin centuries on his return.

As a result, Harris has been demoted from the XI, having scored 179 runs at 29.83 this series with only one half-century.

I think he knew it was coming, Australia captain Pat Cummins said. The message to Harry is we think he’s going really well.

“I thought Marcus has been really good, I think he’s been growing each game. He’s certainly part of the future.”

The match is a day-night Test, the first-ever in Hobart and the first Test match in Tasmania since 2016. The conditions will suit pink-ball gun Mitchell Starc who had been billed for a rest.

But Starc, who has played all four Tests and taken 16 wickets this series, does not want a rest, meaning Australia have a headache with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser pushing for recalls.

The pair impressed in the second Test victory in Adelaide before injuries saw them miss the MCG Test where Scott Boland was exceptional with 6-7.

Boland has an injury concern with his ribs, opening the door for Richardson or Neser, while Josh Hazlewood will not return from a side injury.

“Scotty’s ribs are the only factor,” Cummins said. “He’ll give that a go, if he’s not in then Jhye and Michael Neser are both fit. We’ll work that out this [afternoon].

“Jhye coming off a five-for in the pink ball, he’s probably the next one in but we’ll have that conversation when we need to.

“It’s a pretty tight turnaround between Tests. We think Boland should be right but he’ll just have another bowl in the nets.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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