Australia feel ready to play again after Hughes funeral, says Harris

Ross McLean
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AUSTRALIA seamer Ryan Harris admits his team-mates are starting to focus on a return to Test cricket following the funeral of international team-mate Phillip Hughes on Wednesday.

The hosts are due to begin a four-match contest against India in Adelaide on Tuesday after a delayed start to the series due to the passing of Hughes, who died after being struck on the neck by a short-pitched delivery during a Sheffield Shield clash last week.

Harris accepts the tragic accident has had a profound effect on the cricketing world and the Australian camp in particular, although the 35-year-old also believes Hughes’ funeral can act as a line in the sand.

“One thing I noticed on Wednesday was how the mood in the group had begun to shift,” said Harris. “There were a few conversations about getting back to playing. The funeral was a bit of a milestone. As well as to pay your respects it gives you a bit of closure.

“Seeing the green and gold streamers was a reminder these people want to see some cricket played, want to see us get out there and beat the Indians.”

National selector Mark Waugh confirmed that Hughes was set for a Test recall as skipper Michael Clarke continues to struggle with a hamstring injury, and while taking the field may prove a tonic for some, Harris acknowledges the Adelaide Test may still come too soon for others.

“I know some guys have really struggled, some haven’t even picked up a bat or ball yet since it happened,” added Harris, who has taken 103 Test wickets.

“They’re just not going to know, until they pick a bat or ball up, whether or not they’re going to be capable of playing.”