Ashes 2019: Under-pressure Marcus Harris struggling to put Ben Stokes drop behind him
Marcus Harris dropped Ben Stokes on 116 at Headingley. © AFP

Australia opener Marcus Harris has admitted that he is finding it tough to move past his drop of Headingley hero Ben Stokes on day four of the fourth Ashes Test, which England won by one wicket to level the series.

Harris spilled a diving catch near third man when Stokes was on 116, after which the English allrounder hit successive fours off Pat Cummins.

In Nathan Lyon’s next over, Stokes was reprieved on an lbw shout because Australia did not have any reviews left, and the bowler himself fumbled a collection from Cummins at the non-striker’s end to give the No 11 Jack Leach a life.


Once Leach levelled the scores with a single, Stokes hit the winning runs with a back-foot punch off Cummins for four. His stunning unbeaten 135 took England to a record chase and kept the Ashes alive.

Reflecting on his drop, Harris admitted that he had never felt more nervous on a cricket field than on Sunday at Headingley, as he hopes to find a way to remain in Australia’s XI for the fourth Ashes Test.

Ben Stokes 135
Ben Stokes’ sensational 135* guided England to a remarkable Ashes victory. AFP

“I’ve been trying not to think about it,” the told RSN radio on Wednesday. “But when you do that you tend to think about it more. So I’ve thought about it a little bit. When you put things into perspective, you’re playing cricket for your country and you’re involved in an unbelievable Test match. It could be worse.”

(READ: Umpires Joel Wilson and Chris Gaffaney out of fourth Ashes Test)

Harris said that he had a sense a catch was coming his way, given how Stokes was swinging at almost every ball.

“I sort of felt like just with the way the game was going that we were always going to get an opportunity so we were all on our toes and ready to try and take one,” he said. “I actually saw it alright and it went straight in my hand, and I couldn’t have got it any better, but as soon as I hit the ground it just exploded out.”

(READ: Justin Langer hints at changes to Australia’s batting for fourth Test)

The next Test against England starts September 4 at Old Trafford, and before that the Australians play a three-day match versus Derbyshire from Thursday. Steve Smith is set to feature in the game after missing the Leeds Test after he was concussed by Jofra Archer at Lord’s, and should he be passed fit for Old Trafford it would mean dropping one batsman.

Harris replaced Cameron Bancroft for the third Test, and made 8 and 19 as opener. He is aware that he must score runs against Derbyshire to remain in contention for Old Trafford.

“There’s going to be someone who has to make room somewhere,” he said. “So I assume this game in Derby this week might have a bit on it. I think like most things in cricket, if you make runs or take wickets that tends to look after itself and if you don’t you leave yourself vulnerable.”