Melbourne: Retired Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has backed the pace bowlers employed during the recent Ashes series to find greater consistency and to bleed fewer runs during this summer’s opening Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.
Harris, who was to be a key element of the ultimately failed Ashes defence until a chronic knee injury forced him into retirement before the first Test in Cardiff, believes the national selectors are likely to stick with a seam attack of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
The 35-year-old, who has been working as a specialist assistant coach with the PM’s XI and Cricket Australia XI in Canberra in recent days, indicated that Peter Siddle and his Victoria teammate James Pattinson might also figure in this week’s national selection discussions, cricket.com.au reported on Sunday.
Australia’s squad for the start of the three-match Test series against the Black Caps is expected to be announced next Friday.
“I think the guys that were in there (for the Ashes Tests) can do it,” Harris said.
“That’s why Hazlewood was in there, and Starc as well and they were a little bit inconsistent – they all were. I don’t think they (selectors) need to change personnel, obviously Peter Siddle came in for the last Test (in England) and did a great job.”
“James Pattinson might be in the mix as well although he’s coming back from injury. The good thing is there’s options there, there’s pressure there for the guys that did play (in England) and with Pete (Siddle) coming in and doing what he did at The Oval it’s going to chuck a spanner in the works for selection, which is healthy.”
“We need someone who can bowl dots and keep that consistency, and that allows Johnson to attack and even Starc at times, he’s got pace and he can attack. We do need that, and we probably lacked that in England,” he said.