Warne backs Harris for Ashes start

Australia

Australia great Shane Warne has backed fast bowler Ryan Harris to make a return to the Aussie side for the first Ashes Test against England starting next month.

Harris missed Australia's recent tour of the West Indies as his wife gave birth to their first child but was selected in Ashes squad, and also went on an extensive fitness program.

In the absence of Harris Australia's pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood performed well on flat pitches in the Caribbean as the Aussies whitewashed the hosts two-nil.

It has created a bit of a selection dilemma for coach Darren Lehmann and the selectors, but Warne feels Harris must play in England and that Hazlewood will be the unlucky player to miss out.

Warne, who took 708 Test wickets, said: "Ryan Harris will definitely come in. Hazlewood has bowled beautifully and is a perfect new-ball bowler for English conditions but, for me, Ryan Harris is one of the greatest fast bowlers Australia have had.

"(England have) got a few budgies against Mitchell Johnson and (Mitchell) Starc is probably the best fast bowler in the world, so Hazlewood might be unlucky to miss out."

The first Ashes Test starts on 8 July in Cardiff.

Latest