Harris backs Australia to punish vulnerable England
England's batting line-up looks vulnerable ahead of the Ashes opener in Brisbane, according to Australia legend Ryan Harris.
Ryan Harris believes England's batting line-up is vulnerable ahead of the Ashes after watching the tourists closely during their 192-run victory over a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.
England posted totals of 293 and 207 in their two innings at the Adelaide Oval and, although it was enough to seal a comfortable win, their batting has inevitably faced scrutiny.
Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan both exceeded sixty in the first innings, while Jonny Bairstow's unbeaten 61 was the highlight of the second innings.
But Harris – who described Alastair Cook as looking "rusty" – expects Australia to take advantage of any weaknesses when the first Test begins in Brisbane on November 23.
"I think it [the batting line-up] is [vulnerable]," Harris said after the four-day match in which he coached the CA XI. "Especially with no [Ben] Stokes at six or seven.
"But it depends on how the boys bowl to them. If they bowl loose and wide then there won't be any troubles.
"We've got some good intel which I'll pass onto our bowlers and the coach [Darren Lehmann] was here. I'll take as much back as I can, I'm seeing the guys next week in Brisbane."
Harris was more complimentary about England's bowling attack, but admitted they could struggle to worry the Australian batsmen with out-and-out pace.
He added: "They've got a good attack, some young guys there, losing [Jake] Ball wasn't great.
"I think it's a good attack, there's probably not a lot of pace there but it's a good attack, if you've got Anderson and Broad in your bowling attack it's going to be pretty good."
England's bowling unit may have impressed Harris but he remains convinced Australia will regain the urn over the five-match series.
"I think we'll win, it would be silly if I didn't think that," he said. "I think it's going to be really close but I think we'll get over the line, we're really hard to beat in our conditions."