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Australia pace bowler Ryan Harris has revealed that he is considering missing the first Test against India since he is unsure whether he will be in the right frame of mind to play following the death of batsman Phillip Hughes.
Harris’ comments come after the country’s Test cricketers returned to training ahead of the revamped Test series, which will now see Adelaide host the first Test on December 9.
Even though Harris bowled 60 balls in Brisbane today, he admitted that he is still finding it hard to cope with the loss of his former team-mate.
Hughes tragically passed away at the age of 25 when he was struck on the side of the neck by a bouncer from New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott.
“I am still thinking about it – I’m not sure,” Harris said when asked if he will play in the first Test. “Every individual is different. I have lost my mother before and I was pushed to play for my father and my brother and it probably helped.
“But this is tough for some boys and it is going to be tough for me. I will have to work it out when I get to Adelaide and see how we all feel.
“The boys who were there who witnessed what happened I can’t speak for them because I can’t imagine what they are going through.
“Keeping busy this morning has probably not allowed me to sit around and think about the funeral tomorrow.
“Tomorrow (the funeral) is the day we are thinking about. In the back of our mind is Tuesday (the Test) and we have got to do what we can to try to prepare for that.”
Harris also noted that, even though people are talking about placing restrictions on bouncers, it will only be a matter of time before the Baggy Greens start taking an aggressive approach to all their matches once again.
“I’ve been bowling bouncers for a long time and I have hit guys before,” Harris said. “It is part of the game but it gives you an extra bit of doubt that a small percentage of what happened is reality I guess.
“I am sure we will get back to the way we were playing last summer but it’s going to be tough because we base our game on aggression.”
Harris added that he would like to see captain Michael Clarke in action during the first Test.
However, it is still unclear whether Clarke will play since he has been heavily affected by Hughes’ death and is also recovering from a hamstring injury.
“We want him playing. He’s our captain and our leader and through this whole thing he’s shown why he is,” Harris said. “He’s hurting and he’s had a lot to deal with, he’s been just unbelievable. We’ve had some good chats as a group the last few days and he’s just been fantastic. So we want him there, but we’ll see how it goes.
“We’d have liked a bit longer but that’s just reality. There’s a Test series on and there’s games to be played. That’s what we have to do. Those who can prepare will and those who can’t will need more time. It’s a 50/50 but the bottom line is we’ve got a date to work to now. The idea was we had a chat yesterday and we just wanted a date to work towards. Some guys can and some guys may not be able to.
“Let’s just get past tomorrow first. It’s going to be pretty bloody hard. The thing about this is that no-one knows. No-one’s been in the situation of losing a teammate and a very good mate and trying to play a cricket game less than a week later. No-one’s been in that situation. We’ll get through tomorrow, see how we all feel and get to Adelaide and regroup.”