Bowler Ryan Harris in contention for Lord's

BEN HORNE
Last updated 12:53 18/07/2013
Ryan Harris
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WICKET-TAKER: Ryan Harris fires down a delivery.

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Ryan Harris is shaping as a likely inclusion for Australia in the second test at Lord's starting on Thursday.

Captain Michael Clarke is again keeping his team a closely guarded secret, but conditions at Lord's are expected to play into Harris' hands.

The pitch has more grass on it than the dry first test wicket at Trent Bridge, and the 33-year-old is seen as one of the most dangerous fast bowlers in the world when fit and conditions are conducive to the ball nibbling around.

If selected, it would be Harris' first test match in more than a year.

The injury-prone quick is fit, and there's a feeling Australia can't afford to go 2-0 down in the series without having thrown Harris at the England batsmen.

Fast bowlers Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird were all given the day off training on Wednesday.

Leading into the Trent Bridge test, that was a dead giveaway for the make-up of the attack - with all rested bowlers playing - but the picture seems less clear heading into this match.

James Pattinson, Harris and James Faulkner all batted in the nets on match-eve, but none of the quicks was put through their paces with the ball.

Fast bowling leader Siddle appears certain to back up. He's the only bowler in the attack with test experience at Lord's.

Pattinson would also be seen as a certain inclusion, provided he's fully recovered from a virus.

If Harris is to force his way into the line-up, it will most likely be at the expense of Starc.

The left-armer was good in patches at Trent Bridge, and his point-of-difference makes him a difficult man to leave out.

But it's believed Harris might have the better control for Lord's and it's infamous slope - which can become a graveyard for errant quicks, as Mitchell Johnson found out back in 2009.

The No 3 batting spot is also still up in the air, but Usman Khawaja might be favoured for a return to the side at the expense of Ed Cowan.

Dropping Cowan won't be an easy decision, given his qualities as a team man and how hard he's worked to get to where he is.

But Khawaja has been a perennial bridesmaid on recent tours - picked in the party, but never actually getting a test.

If the 26-year-old can't get an opportunity here, then his chances of getting a run at all this Ashes series appear bleak.

Coach Darren Lehmann has made it clear he wants runs, and Cowan didn't deliver in the first test.

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Whoever is selected is likely to have to produce at Lord's to stay in the team, with David Warner a possibility to return for the third test at Old Trafford.

Australia have a tremendous record at Lord's, with 14 wins overall and only one loss since 1934.

"It is definitely relevant. It feels like a home ground for us," said Clarke.

- AAP

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