Marcus Harris has a realist outlook on his Test spot after suffering a dry patch in England for his debut Ashes series.
After an impressive debut summer season, Harris was surprisingly overlooked for the first two tests against England, however, he failed to capitalise once selected as he failed to pass 20 for the remaining three tests.
But Harris remains positive, acknowledging what is required by him if he is to keep his spot next to David Warner at the top of the batting order.
“I’m going to have to make a lot of runs, you don’t have to be Einstein to work that out,” the opener told cricket.com.au in typically frank fashion this week.
Last summer, Harris forced his way into the Australian side after he scored the most runs in a Sheffield Shield summer (1,118 to be precise) than any batter had during any one of the previous four seasons.
But with Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft and even axed No.3 Usman Khawaja in the wings, Harris’ spot is up for grabs will all four contending to open with Warner for the opening Test against Pakistan next month.
“I’m going to have to make a lot of runs in the first four Shield rounds to keep my spot,” said Harris, whose quest will begin on Thursday in Victoria’s first Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia at the Junction Oval.
“I’ve been that situation before so it’s nothing different for me. I’m just going to have to go out there and churn runs out. We’ve got four games, all on good grounds, so hopefully I can put myself in position (to be selected) for the first Test.
“I have had a tough little patch … but cricket turns around and changes so quickly that I’ve always got it in the back of my mind that it takes one good innings to get on a roll.”
Harris admits England’s opening pairing of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer on seaming English pitches proved the most difficult challenge of his career, after he was removed by either of them in five of his six dismissals.
“Just with the seam (movement) it was so difficult,” Harris explained. “It was a great challenge … in English conditions those guys were very difficult.
“It was tough personally not to really get away at all. It was just conditions so different to what we play in with the ball seaming so much.
“There wasn’t too much swing, but it was more the seam that was a real challenge and the way that Broad and Archer bowled early on made it a great challenge. It wasn’t a great series for us (openers).”
After initially riding a wave of positive support from the media and public alike during his debut home summer, Harris is aware of the changing views of the public following his run of low scores during the Ashes, noting: “That always happens with media.
“If you have a bad little patch, people all of a sudden don’t want to hear anything about you. Then you go all right, you become a better player than what you were. That’s always going to be the way.
“It (the Ashes) was a great challenge. If I make runs at the start of the season, the rest of that stuff doesn’t matter.
“Last summer I made more runs than anyone else, so I’ll just try to do the same again and the reputation will look after itself.”