Harris’ strange baggy green coincidence
Australia's newest Test batsman Marcus Harris was almost moved to tears when he received his baggy green at Adelaide Oval this morning.
Harris became the 456th player to play for Australia in a Test match with the selection, sealing his place in the side with an unbeaten 250 for Victoria at the MCG in October and following it up with three half centuries.
The 26-year-old was born in Western Australia but moved to Victoria in 2016.
In front of his family and Australian cricketers past and present, Harris was presented his cap by former Test star Mike Hussey in a strange coincidence for the debutant.
"It's good to have Huss present me my hat - he actually presented me my WA hat as well, so it's pretty special," Harris told Fox Cricket.
"It's a bit surreal. It's great to have the family out here. I couldn't look at them or I would've started crying. It's very special and very fortunate."
Speaking to Fox Cricket during the lunch break, Marcus' dad Kim said he was on the verge of tears as well.
"That's a Harris trait I think. The emotions of it all, the time, the period we've spent trying to get to this day, and this is the beginning we hope," Kim said.
"As for Marcus, it's his job to do, he knows that. We've all worked together as a family towards it over a lot of years, it's just amazing how quick it goes."
Harris has been strongly supported by his family on his way to the baggy green, particularly his late grandmother, Nanna Harris.
"Nanna and Marcus always had a very close relationship," Kim said.
"Nanna lived with us after my father passed away so they were always close, the three kids - Georgia, Rhiannon and Marcus - with nanna.
"Nanna would always say to Marcus, 'you get your Nanna a hundred, I'll give you 20 bucks'.
"So even when he was making hundreds for WA in Shield cricket, she'd still go buy him a card and put 20 bucks in it and put it on his bed for when he got home. Marcus was so embarrassed, he'd always want to give it back but she'd never take it."
When presenting Harris with his baggy green, Hussey gave a brief speech to Australia's huddle before players started warming up for day one of the first Test against India.
Hussey told Fox it was a nerve-racking moment.
"All I said was he's done very well for Victoria," Hussey said.
"He doesn't need to do anything different, he just needs to keep playing his way and that's going to give him success at this level."
Virat Kohli's decision to bat meant Harris officially started his career at bat-pad, the customary fielding position for the most inexperienced player in the XI, rather than opening the batting alongside state teammate Aaron Finch.
Early wickets from Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins would have helped ease the debutant's nerves somewhat.
Hussey, speaking prior to the first Test, urged selectors to give Harris and the entire new-look XI a chance to prove they belong this summer.
"You just need to be patient with good players," Hussey said.
"If you've identified somebody as one of the best players in the country then just stick with them for a while, unless there's someone in the level below just hammering the door down and making a case too strong to ignore.
"You're going to get low scores, that's just part and parcel of the game."
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- with AAP