Harris targets India ODIs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 19, 2010

Harris targets India ODIs

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Ryan Harris, the injured fast bowler, is desperate to prove his fitness for the India one-day series in October so he can enhance his Ashes credentials. There were fears for Harris when he left England in July for knee surgery less than a year after a previous operation, but he has already started running and plans to be bowling in the next fortnight.
"I'm definitely aiming for India," Harris told Cricinfo. "I was hoping to be up for selection for the Test series but I've been told that's a bit soon. I won't have had the volume of bowling I'd need to go into a Test match, so I'm aiming for the one-day series."
Harris transformed into a dependable international bowler during a highly successful six-month run and is one of a core of fast bowlers on the comeback trail. Ben Hilfenhaus returned from knee tendonitis against Pakistan in England last month and Peter Siddle has been picked in Victoria's Champions League squad for the upcoming event in South Africa.
If Siddle goes well in that tournament he could also be a contender for a spot in the one-day squad for the three ODIs in India, which begin after the two Tests in the first half of October. Harris won his initial promotion due to Siddle's injury but quickly became a valuable member of the limited-overs side, as well as appearing in his first two Tests against New Zealand.
The knee injury was poorly timed, coming just before the Pakistan Tests, and he knows where he now stands in the pecking order. "At the moment, [Doug] Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, [Mitchell] Johnson, Siddle, I'm definitely behind those four and me and Clint McKay are vying for that next spot," he said. "I always said I was in there as a replacement for those guys who were injured and those guys were doing pretty well before they were injured."
After the unscheduled lay-off Harris is "refreshed and ready to go". He is pleased he got a longer break following a busy campaign, while being disappointed that the cartilage in his right knee forced him to give up his Test spot. "I really wanted to try and push through those Tests [against Pakistan] because I saw those as leading into this series against India and into our summer," he said. "I guess when I look back now it has been good, but I look back to Christmas last year and I hadn't played any cricket. So I was fresh and keen to play as much as I could."
Harris entered with consecutive five-wicket hauls against Pakistan in January and remained in form until the injury intervened following 10 wickets in the England series. In between those ODI engagements he collected nine victims in Tests at Wellington and Hamilton, an initiation which included bowling into a 100kph wind at the Basin Reserve.
"That was probably the hardest spell of bowling in my career," he said. "I wouldn't take it back though. If it means bowling in a Test, I'll do it." The gutsy contribution earned him more respect than the batch of wickets.
Over the past couple of years Harris has gained a couple of kilograms and a few kilometres of pace, putting him in the mid-140s. Add in some late swing and seam and he is an extremely tricky prospect. He will definitely be considered for the Ashes, although the selectors seem to be leaning towards an initial pace trio of Siddle, Johnson and Hilfenhaus.
"The best thing for me is to hope I'm fit for India, and if I get picked for the one-day series to try my best over there and hopefully get back to where I was bowling," Harris said. "If not, the season for Queensland looks exciting anyway. I'll try to bowl my heart out there and be ready to go if someone isn't performing or gets injured." Just like he did last season.

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