Marcus Harris spills a catch from Ben Stokes in the third Test of this year's Ashes series.
Marcus Harris spills a catch from Ben Stokes in the third Test of this year's Ashes series.

Harris given hope after thinking he’d ‘dropped the Ashes’

AXED Test opener Marcus Harris says he has been told by national selectors to be more ruthless in Sheffield Shield cricket.

The Victorian played in the last three Tests of the Ashes series in England but struggled at the top of the order and was dropped in favour of Joe Burns for the home two-Test sweep of Pakistan.

Harris remains on the outside looking in after missing out on selection for Australia's three-Test series against New Zealand, which starts next week.

The 27-year-old has made 289 runs in his six Shield innings this season at an average of 48.16, with a highest score of 116.

He has been advised on what he needs to do to revive an international career which, at one time, he thought was over for good.

"They (the selectors) said they want me to be a bit more ruthless in Shield cricket," Harris told RSN.

"That's sort of the feedback you have to take on board.

"I'm out of the team, I've got to get back in the team.

"If I get back in the team, I've got to make runs."

In nine Tests since his international debut a year ago, Harris has scored 385 runs at 24.06 with a highest score of 79, against India at the SCG last summer.

After being overlooked for Cameron Bancroft against England, Harris returned for the final three Tests but failed to make the most of his chances and managed just 58 runs at 9.66.

Yet it is a dropped catch in the third Ashes Test that has haunted Harris.

He was unable to take a catch at third man which allowed Ben Stokes to go on and lead England to a one-wicket win at Headingley to level the series.

"Instantly I just thought, that's game over, that's career over, everything," Harris said.

Marcus Harris thought his career was over after his crucial dropped catch gave Ben Stokes a life.
Marcus Harris thought his career was over after his crucial dropped catch gave Ben Stokes a life.

"I remember going home after the game and speaking to my girlfriend and saying, 'I'm never gonna play for Australia again'.

"That's what it felt like. My whole life's been around cricket.

"I knew it was a big moment. To not hold on to it, I felt like I'd dropped the Ashes."

Australia vs New Zealand, first Test every ball live and ad free on Fox Cricket 501 from 1PM local time December 12-16.

News Corp Australia

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