By Shashi Agarwal
Australia seems to have come out of the transition phase . With a whitewash over England at home and then backing it with a win a win over South Africa in their den just speaks of their recent dominance. This phase has seen the emergence of Johnson , Warner and Steve Smith but others like Harris did not get the recognition they deserved.
A late bloomer with never a finger raised over his talent . It was always left to his fitness on how long he could extend his career. He had a decent start to his International scene but always a finger raised over his fitness. But his commitment was never questioned. The way he bowled in the recently concluded final test against South Africa shows his commitment. It is just too hard for professionals to put aside a lucrative deal in the IPL and concentrate on his Test career and Harris has done that. He just postponed his surgery to concentrate on the Ashes and the South Africa tour, thus taking him out of this year’s IPL. With an injury to his hip on the 3rd day of the last test match against SouthAfrica, his further participation in the match as a bowler was doubted. But this is what separates the men from the boys. He came even harder at the Proteas and picked up 4 wickets in the second innings. The fact that he was advised not to bowl long by the physio makes it more special. Inspite of all his fitness issues, he has managed to play 8 consecutive test matches , giving his 100 percent and cannot be asked for more.
But with all this even, he is not getting the recognition he deserves. It is all because at the end of the day it is the stats which matters the most and Harris lacks the in the wicket columns. A bit of it has to go to Johnson, who has made every bowler look ordinary. Harris’s figures doesn’t really reflect his performance where he has not too many wickets to show on his name, thanks to Johnson who has taken too many to his name. But Harris has been building the pressure from the other side which has allowed Johnson to attack the opposition, setting in with more close in fielders. Harris has been banging it hard and moving it both ways with less success. He may not seem to be very quick because of his action , but actually ends up in 140 km range. His reverse swinging abilities makes him deadly with old balls. But to his favour , he has the backing of his captain who feels that Harris has been the spearhead of the attack along with Johnson.
Some Interesting stats about him
- Since 2013,he has played 12 matches and went for more than 100 in just 1 innings, that too where he picked 7 wickets against England.
- He has bowled 126 maiden overs, speaking about his keeping one end tight.
- Australia has won 7 out of this 12 matches
These stats are enough to show his contribution to the retransformation of Australia as the dominant side in the world.After his surgery, he will be fitter and one may see him coming with flying colours for Australia. Also his abilities to bowl consistent Yorkers and mix it up with slow deliveries makes him lethal for limited overs also. But he is someone who is ready to give his all to the Test Cricket and this is the best part for Australia.Hope Australia recognises his value and doesn’t drop him from the team for the sake of youngsters like Pat Cummins.