Marcus Harris was rewarded for his consistency in the Sheffield Shield tournament by being included in the Australia side for the first two Tests against India in Adelaide and Perth in December. The left-hander, playing for Victoria, has smashed 437 runs at an average of 87.50. The knock which boosted his chances of inclusion in the side was his aggressive 250 against New South Wales and Cricket Australia’s chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had pointed out his consistency was the key factor behind his selection. However, his selection has reunited him with Australia coach Justin Langer and both these individuals shared a tumultuous relationship during their days together in Western Australia.
Before playing for Victoria, Harris was an integral part of Western Australia for six years. The left-hander had a great start, becoming the youngest Australian to hit a 150 in first-class cricket when he smashed 157 against Queensland in 2010/11 at the age of 18. However, he was plagued by inconsistency and in 42 Sheffield Shield Games till 2016, Harris scored just four centuries and had a poor average of 28. This led to Harris moving to Victoria.
His inconsistency led Langer, then the coach at Western Australia, to lament to a newspaper in 2016, “His performances have been mediocre with flashes of brilliance. He has played more than 40 matches for WA and scored just four centuries. That must be frustrating for him, as it is for the coaches and fans. He leaves with our best wishes and the hope that he can one day play for Australia.”
‘Looking forward to meeting him’
Harris admits he was in struggling for words when Hohns called him up to confirm his selection in the Tests. When asked about his potential reunion with Langer, Harris funnily remarked, “He texted me before and said ‘Welcome to the brotherhood. It was really good and I am looking forward to seeing him. I haven't seen him in a long time.”
The 26-year-old left-hander, who has averaged over 47 in the last two seasons for Victoria, said the ‘mediocre’ comment did not demoralise him and said he did not leave Western Australia on a sour note, stating that he had a really good meeting with Langer.
Australia will take on India in four Tests, with the first Test being played in Adelaide on December 6.