Melbourne: Cricket Australia has decided to delay the return of Ryan Harris until the second or third Test against India and placed Shaun Marsh on ice until the Boxing Day Test.
The plan for Harris reveals much about CA`s new approach to injury management, in that he is expected to resume bowling after a hip injury on Monday and represent Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League later this month.
CA`s general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, said the long-term program was geared towards having Harris ready to withstand five days of cricket, with maximum impact, even if he played only two or three Tests for the summer.
``Ryan Harris is more towards the second or third game of the Indian series to give him the best possible chance for his longer form cricket,`` Howard told a leading daily.
Howard added: ``The ability to have an armoury of fast bowlers who sometimes don`t have to back up is important. We could have, for want of a better term, an impact bowler … these guys are going to have to come in, make a real difference … This is not just the case with Ryan - he`s a bit older - but with some of the younger guys as well, to get the best out of them.``
The four-Test series against India starts on Boxing Day and continues in Sydney from January 3, Perth from January 13 and in Adelaide from January 24.
Marsh, who has a sore back, has been ruled out of next week`s second Test against New Zealand in Hobart, while Pat Cummins`s bruised heel will be assessed over the coming days.
Howard suggested Shane Watson would need to be able to bowl before he was picked for the Test team.
Meanwhile, Australia`s pace stocks took another hit when back soreness restricted Test squad member Ben Cutting to just nine overs in a Sheffield Shield match at the MCG on Friday.
Cutting did not take the field after tea and returned 1-36.