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Aussies primed for Proteas challenge

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AFP

Australia's Ryan Harris. Picture: Glyn Kirk

Pretoria – Coming off a comprehensive 5-0 victory over England in the Ashes, Australian bowler Ryan Harris says no extra motivation is needed to take on the number one Test-ranked South Africans.

“You talk about motivation, we're coming up against the number one team in the world,” said Harris in Centurion on Tuesday.

“That's probably enough motivation for me.

“I know it is for the 14 other blokes in the changeroom. If you're not motivated for that, you probably shouldn't be here.”

The Australians held a net session at SuperSport Park on Tuesday after their scheduled warm-up game in Potchefstroom was cancelled.

Captain Michael Clarke's comments last week about the Aussie attack being the best Test bowling unit in the world, did not put them under any additional pressure, Harris said.

“We've just got to go out and do our job.

“That's what I've done every time I go out and play for Australia. It's just great to know your captain is backing you.

“The way we've bowled in the last six or 12 months, we've done very well as a unit. To me there is no pressure with him saying that at all.”

Harris said there was always a lot of banter between the two team, both on and off the field but he preferred to leave the battles out on the field.

“We play hard, as South Africa do, on the field, and there's going to be a few things said here and there. We enjoy a really good contest. It's the same with South Africa.

“We'll be going out there bloody hard to beat them.”

The 34-year-old quick also said he expected the crowd to play it's part in the first Test.

“It's a smallish ground, I'm sure the crowd is going to be on top of us ... yelling out.

“But that's the sort of things you look forward to when you tour. You embrace the atmosphere of an opposition crowd. Someone said to me it's like a carnival atmosphere here in Centurion, I wish the game was starting tomorrow.”

Australia were able to take 20 wickets with relative ease against England in Australia on much flatter wickets. The prospect of faster, bouncier pitches excited Harris.

“To hear the wickets are going to be more sporting, you'll see a massive grin on my face.

“If there's going to be a bit more grass on the wicket, then bring it on.

“Coming into this series, we're prepared to do the work on any wicket we're given.”

The good results Australia had produced, was no accident according to Harris.

“Cricket's a funny game, like any elite sport, things can change quickly.

“What we've done over the last 18 months, it's no fluke. We've worked really hard.

“We got close in England when we lost 3-0, we thought it was a lot closer than the scoreline. We knew we were close. It's up to each individual to make themselves better. We've also worked very well as a team.”

The first of three Tests starts on February 12 in Centurion. – Sapa


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