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Marcus Harris selection gamble worries Ryan Harris, Australian Test squad

Former Australian paceman Ryan Harris is concerned that an abundance of left-handers in Australia’s top order could give England the upper hand in the upcoming Ashes series.

With Will Pucovski still recovering from his latest concussion, Marcus Harris is set to partner David Warner at the top of Australia’s order.

READ MORE: Forgotten Aussie young gun stakes Ashes claim

Harris returns to Australia’s side for his second Ashes campaign, having played in three matches during the 2019 series, where he managed just 58 runs in six innings.

With one of Travis Head and Usman Khawaja also likely to be in Australia’s XI, it’ll leave Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne as the only right-handers in the top-five.

Harris, who took 57 wickets in 12 Ashes Tests, said veteran English duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad could benefit from bowling to left-handers, particularly with Broad having dominated Warner during the 2019 series.

“It’s no surprise that Marcus Harris has been picked,” he told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.

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“I think Will Pucovski would’ve probably been first pick but unfortunately with his ongoing concussion situation that’s ruled him out.

“I’m not surprised about Marcus Harris, it’s a good decision, but my only thing is we have a lot of left-handers at the top. It depends on who takes that No.5 spot, but with Broad and Anderson as good as they are, they’re world-class bowlers, and they bowl well to left-handers. That’s my only little worry with the two left-handers at the top.”

While Australia’s vaunted pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are Tim Paine’s aces, England captain Joe Root said the familiarity with the three quicks could help the tourists.

“One thing that we know about this Australian is in terms of its bowling attack in particular, it’s been very settled and very similar for a long period of time,” he said.

“We should have a really good idea of how they’re going to operate.”

England and Australia will open the 2021 Ashes series on December 8, with the first Test to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.

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