New Delhi: Bouncers or not, the first Test between the touring Indian side and Australia will go ahead in Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. The match will witness the return of lion-heart Ryan Harris after an injury lay-off. And his team-mates are impressed with the fast-bowler's effort.
Both Brad Haddin and Shane Watson faced the 35-year-old in the nets as the Australian team gets on to cricket after the bereavement of their former team-mate Phillip Hughes on Thursday. After the session, the wicket-keeper said that “He had that Ryan Harris zip. I was lucky enough to face him for a good 20 minutes and it was tough work.”
After undergoing a major knee surgery in March, Harris was one of several Australian players fighting for fitness heading into the now rescheduled first Test. The rescheduling of the fixture provided Harris enough time to get match fit. Now, he is all set to play the Adelaide Test, where he is expected to share the new ball with Mitchell Johnson.
Watson also echoed the same and said, Harris “is bowling as well as he has.” The all-rounder also hailed Harris' commitment. "Ryan will always make sure he gets himself up for a Test," he added.
Since the surgery, Harris played two first-class matches and seemingly struggle to find his form. But the Queenland player requested Cricket Australia to allow him play one game, against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield.
On day one of the match, he bowled 13 overs before it was abandoned after Hughes tragedy. By then, the bowler had gained enough confidence to play for Australia and has been bowling in nets.
Harris last played in a Test match for Australia against South Africa some nine months earlier, helping his side to a memorable victory in the series decider in Cape Town. With just 4.3 overs left in the ill-tempered match, an injured Harris took the wickets of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the space of three deliveries to give Australia a 245-run win, and 2-1 series victory.
After the match, he was quoted as saying “My body is done. My knee is ready for a cleanout. That out there was proper Test-match cricket. That was bloody hard.”
The series opener of the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be an emotional affair after the tragic death of Phillip Hughes.
With agency inputs