August 9, 2013 3:57:37 am
Australia captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday that although England may have retained the urn with a draw in the third Test,there is still plenty to play for in this series.
With Australia looking to win the next two Tests and draw this Ashes,Clarke said that this wasnt the time for testing his bench strength. I dont think anyone is here to give them a go. Thats not in any Test cricket and certainly not an Ashes series,especially the position were sitting in now, Clarke said when he was asked if fast bowler Jackson Bird will be given a go. Its about picking your best 11.
The Aussie skipper was also upbeat on Thursday about Ryan Harriss prospects of featuring in the fourth Ashes Test starting Friday despite the pacemans poor fitness record.
Harris took seven wickets in Australias crushing 347-run second Test defeat at Lords,including a first innings haul of five for 72,and four more at Old Trafford. However,only once in a 14-Test career blighted by injuries has the 33-year-old played in three successive Tests and he broke down in the third of those matches,the 2010/11 Boxing Day clash against England,when he suffered an ankle injury.
Clarke,though,said the fact Australia had little bowling to do on a rain-marred final day at Old Trafford would help Harris. In my mind Im confident Ryano will be fine, Clarke said Thursday.
Us not bowling on that last day because of the rain is definitely going to help our bowlers. If he is (fit) I think he should definitely be selected. Hes a fantastic bowler,his record (58 Test wickets at 22.56) shows that,and I think weve seen throughout this series how important he is to our team.
At Old Trafford,Australia promoted David Warner up the order to open in the second innings in place of Shane Watson. Clarke said he was happy to have flexibility in the batting order. Weve got options, he said,talking about his openers,Warner,Chris Rogers,Ed Cowan and Watson. We have got so many openers,which is a good problem to have.
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