Harris needs to shine in Australia’s Ashes warm-up matches against Kent and Essex to force his way into the first Test XI, Lehmann said on Thursday.
Lehmann said Harris currently ‘looks a little short of a gallop’ ahead of Thursday’s opening match of the Qantas Tour of the British Isles against Kent at Canteruby.
‘He hasn’t played for going on six months now,’ Lehmann told SEN’s The Run Home.
‘We’ll see how he pulls up and how he gets through and then we’ll have a better idea of whether he can make it through the first Test or the second Test, or if he’s right to go from ball one. We’ll have to sum that up as we go.
‘He looks pretty good to be fair, but he looks a little short of a gallop so we’ll just have to hold that and see how we go.’ – www.cricket.com.au
BAYLISS SIDESTEPS KP ISSUE
Incoming England coach Trevor Bayliss has refused to be drawn into the controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen’s Ashes selection omission.
The Australian dodged answering whether he wanted Pietersen in the squad before flying out of Sydney to take charge of the team ahead of the series start on 8 July.
‘Look, apparently, he’s unavailable for selection, so that’s all I know at this stage,’ Bayliss told Fox Sports at Sydney Airport. ‘He is a good batter but at this stage he is unavailable, so that’s all I know.’
The first Australian to coach England, Bayliss will spend four days bonding with his new team in camp in Spain. He said he was looking forward to getting to know the players and said the team had a chance of winning the series.
‘It’s been quite exciting, the series against New Zealand, the Tests and the one-dayers – got some new, young players in there with plenty of skill, plenty of enthusiasm. I’m confident of putting up a good show and if they play some good cricket they’ll be a chance of winning.’ – AAP
ANDERSON WANTS END TO SLEDGING
James Anderson has called on both sides to ditch the verbals and cut out ‘sledging’ during the Ashes series between England and Australia.
New Zealand have just completed a tour of England which, although it ended in a 56-run Twenty20 defeat at Old Trafford on Tuesday, the Black Caps won praise both for the quality of their cricket and the way in which they conducted themselves on the field.
Significantly, they showed it was possible to play aggressive cricket without resorting to ‘sledging’ – verbal abuse of opposition players – and their approach had the knock-on effect of improving England’s behaviour as well.
But doubts remain about whether the Ashes can be played in the same spirit, particularly if England feel obliged to match an Australia side who are never shy of a few words to their opponents.
‘I hope it’s played in the same nature as the New Zealand series…that was a really positive series and the nature of both sides’ cricket was helped by the spirit the game was played in,’ Anderson told Sky Sports News.
‘(But) there’s a different relationship between the two teams, the Ashes is a huge series for both sets of players.
‘If there is needle, it’s something I thought I thrived on or needed in the past but having played in the last few months, I think it’s important we get the balance right of playing in the right spirit, but also having that competitive edge to win a game of cricket for your country.’ – AFP
ROGERS SAYS SORRY FOR TICKET SCHEME
Chris Rogers says he had no intention of deceiving cricket authorities over unauthorised hospitality and ticket packages to next month’s Lord’s Test offered by a company he co-founded, insisting he made his intentions clear and was told by county team Middlesex he was taking the right course of action.
The Australian opener landed in a storm before Australia’s first tour game against Kent, starting on Thursday, after the company, Inside Edge Experience, he set up with business partner and former Middlesex teammate Tom Scollay bought an allocation of tickets for the second Ashes Test from the county and advertised travel packages around them for as much as A$5 820 each.
That is against Lord’s ground rules, and Middlesex have subsequently said they will not be releasing the tickets. Rogers said that people who had bought packages had been refunded and he regretted how the venture had unfolded. – Sydney Morning Herald