At the turn of the millennium, with the baggy greens' flag fluttering high atop the summit of world cricket, there was no breaking into the side if you were a fast bowler - back then, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee ruled the roost, with Michael Kasprowicz and Andy Bichel waiting in the wings. Since then, with shoes being hung by the lot almost in a heap, opportunities have arisen for a host of hopefuls to fill the vacuum, among them a South Australian.
The sojourn of Ryan Harris, however, has been a tad underwhelming, and not entirely of his own doing, an errant knee the culprit ever since he made his international debut in ODI in early 2009. "I'm running out of cartilage in my right knee," said Harris prior to the Kings XI Punjab's last match of the season at the PCA Stadium.But he's not giving up, not yet. "Right now, I'm fully fit, but it's (the knee issue) a thing that I sometimes can't control. So, all I can do is keep getting into the gym, and just try to stay nice and strong in the legs," he says.
With recurring fitness issues, Australia's rotation policy and 20-somethings knocking on the national team's doors, chances have been few and far between for Harris, something that the right-arm fast bowler has been vocal about. Things haven't changed all that much with KXIP. "I would like to play a lot more," says Harris. "Adam (Gilchrist) has worked hard on getting the right mix, and at this stage of the tournament, he perhaps feels that maybe we're missing a batsman in the middle. But whenever he needs me, I'm there."
Taking a cue from compatriot Brett Lee and Lasith Malinga, Harris (32) too has vested his hopes for the future in T20s. "The format definitely gives the older guys the chance to continue playing for a bit longer," says Harris.