Marcus Harris
Marcus Harris (AFP Photo)

Australia‘s Ashes tour of England might be some time away but the race for sealing a spot is already heating up. The plum opening spot is up for grabs and for Marcus Harris, playing in the ‘biggest series’ is a carrot he can’t seem to ignore.

Harris made his debut in the India series, scored a couple of fifties before in a 1-2 defeat before a 2-0 clean sweep over Sri Lanka where he failed to impress.

A host of contenders will be vying for the opening spots when the Aussie selectors meet to finalise the squad. Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns and Harris himself are among those in the running and their performances in the ongoing Sheffield Shield season will play a big role.

“After those first Tests against India and that first series, I obviously missed a chance against Sri Lanka,” Harris told Melbourne radio station SEN on Wednesday. “But the carrot as an Australian cricketer is to play in Ashes, and especially over in England, just with the way that is, that’s the biggest series you can play in. That’s my goal for the next six months and that’s what’s burning away at me.”

He added, “Every time I’m playing and batting, all I’m thinking about is trying to do everything right to get myself in a position to be able to open the batting in the Ashes.”

Harris has started the second half of Shield season with scores of 95 and 174 for Victoria in a win over Queensland. While Ashes continues to be the ultimate goal, currently, the 26-year-old is focused on leading his team to the Shield final.

“It’s in front of you all the time, everywhere I look it seems to be coming up. All I’m worried about is playing for Victoria and winning our game next week against Tasmania and trying to get us into a Shield final,” he said.