(Reuters) – Injury-plagued Australia paceman Ryan Harris is aiming to stay fit for the entire duration of the return Ashes series against England after recovering from his latest hamstring problem.
Harris, pick of the Australian bowlers in their 3-0 Ashes defeat in England, has been in and out of the team due to injuries, managing 16 tests since his 2010 debut.
He played in four successive tests for the first time in his career in the Ashes series but injured his right hamstring during the latter part of the fifth match.
“When I went to England, I was aiming to get through five and I got through four,” Harris, who would turn 34 next month, said on Tuesday. “Hopefully this time I’d like to get through five but we’ll see how we go.
“Obviously form will play a part in that as well – but I’m definitely aiming to play five.”
The right-arm paceman’s international career has been blighted by a chronic knee problem, left ankle fracture, shoulder problem, back strain, hip pain and a tender Achilles.
His 24 wickets in England at an average of 19.58 underlined his importance in the Australian team which will attempt to win back the urn on home soil.
“I probably had two weeks off bowling and I’ve been back at the gym getting my strength back up, so everything’s on target,” Harris, who has taken 71 wickets from 16 tests, said.
“We’re just in process of planning out exactly how many games I’m going to play and what the process is going to be leading into that first test.
“There’s plenty of cricket between now and then, which is great, so I’ve got a good chance to bowl lots of overs.”
Harris was kept out of Australia’s squad for next month’s India tour, where they will play one Twenty20 and seven one-day internationals, to give him ample time to get fully fit before the first test in Brisbane starts on Nov. 21.
“We’re working out a plan as we speak. The physios are in charge of how much I go and what I do,” he said. “We had a great lead up to the Ashes series in England and I think we’re going to follow the same sort of path.