x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Injury-free Harris ready to fire in Adelaide

Ryan Harris says 'all guns blazing' as he believes he has the health to play four remaining Ashes Tests.

Ryan Harris has played five Tests in a row since returning to the Australia side. Morne de Klerk / Getty Images
Ryan Harris has played five Tests in a row since returning to the Australia side. Morne de Klerk / Getty Images

SYDNEY // Ryan Harris, the Australia paceman, will be holding nothing back in the second Ashes Test against England this week, even if his injury track record suggests he will struggle to play all five Tests in the series.

A litany of injuries since making his debut in 2010 has prevented Harris from completing a five-match Test series, his best effort being four of five matches in England earlier this year, when he was his country’s outstanding bowler.

With Adelaide likely to be the toughest venue for the quick bowlers, some have suggested Australia would be wise to revive their rotation policy and save Harris, 34, for the third Test on a more pace-friendly wicket in Perth.

Having grabbed five wickets for 77 runs to help Australia take a series lead with a thumping 381-run victory in the opening Test in Brisbane, though, Harris has no intention of taking it easy at the Adelaide Oval.

“I’ll be all guns blazing here,” he said yesterday. “I’m not going to miss a Test unless I really have to. I’ve said that from the start, I’m here to play five.

“I had the turnaround in England and I got through OK. The wickets here are a little harder, that’s probably the only difference.

“I’m feeling good. Obviously the extra rest after Brisbane helped, but I’m feeling good and ready to go here.”

Harris, who is expected to reprise his partnership with Peter Siddle and Gabba standout Mitchell Johnson in a three-pronged pace unit, also dismissed the idea that skipper Michael Clarke might use him more sparingly.

“I will be used as usual,” he said. “There’s no good playing if you’re being held back. You’ve got to go in 110 per cent.

“You can’t have one bloke going half-hearted, because it puts pressure on your two or three other bowlers.

“I’ve just got to make sure whatever I do between Tests I get right and feel good and I’m confident I can do that.”

That said, Harris believes all-rounder Shane Watson will contribute with the ball more than at the Gabba, having recovered from a hamstring strain.

The trip to Adelaide is something of a homecoming for Harris, who spent nearly a decade with South Australia before moving north to join Queensland.

The wicket for this week’s Test, which starts on Thursday, will be a drop-in track and Harris expects it to be hard work for the pace bowlers and offer more potential for leg-before-wicket dismissals.

“It’s just a challenge, but we all know what we’ve got to do and the changes we’ve got to make,” he said.

“We’re still going to be aggressive, we’ve said that from the start, and we’ll assess the wicket and do whatever we can here,” he added.