Marcus Harris has taken aim at the selectors' decision to not pick a specialist opening batsman after Steve Smith and Cameron Green both struggled in the opening Test against the West Indies in Adelaide. The Victorian opener said his snubbing was "still raw" and wondered if Australian selectors "want to pick specialist opening batsmen anymore".
At the start of the summer, many believed Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Matt Renshaw were the three fighting for the spot at the top of the order after David Warner retired at the end of the Pakistan series. But instead, selectors moved Smith up the order to partner Usman Khawaja so Cameron Green could slot back into the side at number four.
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While Renshaw was named as a reserve batsman and Harris and Bancroft were left out of the Test squad entirely. Things didn't go the way selectors hoped in the opening Test despite the match ending in a resounding victory to Australia, with Smith scoring 12 and 11 not out and Green only managing 14.
The decision from selectors left Harris scratching his head. The Victorian opener was seen firmly in the running for the spot and he even had the backing of Warner, who argued Harris was an almost like-for-like replacement due to him being a batsman who scores at a decent rate. "He is not too dissimilar to me – if he sees it in his areas, he goes for it and plays his shots," Warner said. "I think he’d fit well."
In an interview with 6PR Harris said it has been a tough couple of months not knowing what selectors would do before the massive letdown of not being picked. “It’s been interesting. Coming off the back of the Ashes we knew that Davey had put a timeline on when he wanted to finish so there was obviously a lot of speculation about when he would finish and who would replace him and I was obviously one of the names in contention,” Harris said.
“What’s good now is that now it has been decided and been done, it’s one less thing I have to worry about. It’s been an interesting couple of months but at least I know now where I stand instead of battling with the unknown. “I didn’t really hear too much around selection from them to be honest.
“I was with the squad in England and then I probably spoke to (head selector) George (Bailey) before the PM XI game but they didn’t say too much around selection so I didn’t really know anything until I got the phone call last week about the selection of the squad. It’s a little bit of the unknown which is frustrating but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Marcus Harris believes selection snub ends his Test hopes
Harris has averaged just a shade over 25 from 14 Tests and while he hopes he can pull on the baggy green again, with how things have played out this summer he believes he may not get another chance. “I hope so (play for Australia again), but it depends if they want to pick specialist opening batsmen anymore or not,” he said.
“Time will tell I suppose. It’s still a bit raw with the disappointment of selection but things can change quickly and I back myself to do a job but it’s up to selectors if they want to pick me or pick specialist opening batsmen anymore.”
Cameron Green fails in Test call-up
On paper, it appeared to be a perfect first-up fixture for Green to cement his spot in the Australian Test side. But Shamar Joseph and his teammates clearly forgot to read the script, with Green falling cheaply for 14 on day two of the opening Test. Green was quickly given a brutal reminder about the step up to Test level and the expectations attached from Aussie cricket fans.
So glad we displaced Steve Smith from 4 and ignored the best opening bat in the country so Cam Green could scratch around for 14 against the West Indies
— Nicholas Shirt (@NicholasShirt) January 17, 2024
Cam Green makes more runs at Sheffield Shield level than anyone else. Would have him at 5 and Head at 4 though
— Richard Ballard (@warnbells) January 18, 2024
Surprise Surprise - Cameron Green failed … 😨
— John Wright (@Jonowright75) January 18, 2024
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