The Ashes: Langer supports under-pressure opener Marcus Harris

by IANS |

Adelaide, Dec 23 (IANS) In four innings in the ongoing Ashes series, Australian Opener Marcus Harris has had scores of 3, 9 not out, 3 and 23. But despite his failure to give the hosts good starts in the first two Tests of the five-match series, Harris is place in the playing XI is secured for the third Test starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

Australia coach Justin Langer has confirmed Harris will open the batting in the Boxing Day Test despite failing to fire in two Tests so far. Harris appeared a man under pressure heading into the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), but Langer has given him his unequivocal backing.

"He'll play in the Test, no worries about that," Langer said on Thursday. "This is his home ground. He's played a lot at the MCG," Langer was quoted as saying in reports in Australian media.

"He hasn't made the runs he'd like to so far, but he dominates domestic cricket. So he knows that he knows how to play. He's a fantastic bloke around the squad ... And we know he's a very good player.

"For him and for us, we're hoping he plays well and gets a good partnership with Davey Warner in this Boxing Day Test match," Langer said.

Having experienced similar pressure over his spot early in his Test career, Langer knows how valuable the backing of those that matter can be to a misfiring batter.

"That's absolutely one of the most important things in life, knowing people have got your back," Langer said.

"My experience, when Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Mark Taylor or Allan Border said 'you're in the team', you feel like you feel like Superman.

"You feel like you're important to the team and Marcus Harris is important to the team."

Alongside Cameron Green, Harris is the one member of the Australian top seven not to have made a major contribution with the bat so far in the series.

Langer, however, is confident a big innings is just around the corner, the report said.

"I think an opening partnership is very, very important," Langer told the media.

"We're really confident Marcus has got what it takes to be a successful Australian opening batsman.

"And what we see in the nets, what we see in domestic cricket all adds up to what is potentially a very good Test career.

"One of the building blocks of a great team is the opening partnership and top three.

"We're determined to get that right."

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