Sydney: Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris, who bowled his country to a series victory in South Africa last week, is hoping knee surgery will prolong his Test career through the 2015 Ashes at least.
The 34-year-old has been plagued by injuries since his debut in 2010 but was able to put together a run of 12 consecutive Tests over the last seven months to help Australia wrest back the Ashes and beat South Africa 2-1 in an away series.
Harris played through the pain to give Australia the victory on a dramatic final day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands last week before returning home for surgery.
“The 2015 Ashes and the series after that back in Australia are the goals for me if I’m bowling well enough and still in form,” Harris told Melbourne’s Sen radio.
“There’s World Cup in between and I’d love to force my way back into that team as well.
“I’ve read a few little comments here and there in papers that it could be the end of me, but I’m not done yet. I’ll be back.”
While no one has doubted Harris’ ability as a bowler, his injuries had restricted him to just 12 Tests in three years until he got on the plane for the opening Ashes series of 2013.
He played four of five Tests in that series in England, all five Tests in the 5-0 triumph in the return Ashes series and all three Tests against the Proteas. Harris took 56 wickets at 21.66 in the three series but his most decisive intervention came in Cape Town last week when he removed Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in one over to clinch a 245-run victory and the series triumph.
Having delayed surgery until after the South Africa tour, Harris will finally go under the knife this week.
“It was obviously tough getting through those last two days but it’s a job you just have to do,” he said.
“I can tell you now, the flight home has ruined [the knee] even more — it’s sort of locked up.
“I really hope having this done and cleaned out, it gives me a bit more time.”