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Time for Harris to take centre stage over Johnson in Aussie Ashes attack

| 13.12.2013

Mitchell Johnson is well on the way to collecting the accolade for Ashes player of the series after helping himself to 17 English wickets across the opening two Tests.

Given that Stuart Broad is the only other player in the series to have even managed half of this wicket total, Johnson’s threat is obvious and there will be a temptation to pile into him being the scourge of England again at the WACA.

Johnson is 13/8 to be Australia’s top first innings wicket taker in the third Test and the left-arm seamer has taken at least four wickets in the first innings of the opening two Ashes matches.

He has also managed at least two wickets in the first innings of his five career Tests at the WACA, which includes a six and an eight-wicket haul.

Furthermore, Australia’s last Test at the WACA against South Africa also turned into a left-arm bowler’s paradise, with Johnson and Mitchell Starc taking 14 wickets in the match between them.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s slow left-armer Robin Peterson even ended the match with six wickets, which equals his best in the Test environment.

Therefore, opposing Johnson could be deemed a dangerous policy, but brave punters may think the time is right for Ryan Harris to showcase his own bowling talents.

Harris has taken 11 Test wickets in his career at the WACA, which is more than at any other ground, and his average in Perth is superior to Johnson, at the extremely low 15.7.

It is 9/4 in the Ashes odds that Harris is Australia’s top first innings wicket taker and he does come in third in the wicket stakes across the series so far. Australia captain Michael Clarke is also confident that Harris will overcome a knee problem to play.

In terms of the match betting Australia are 4/6 to win the third Test and reclaim the Ashes in the process, with England the underdogs at 5/2 and the draw priced at 4/1.

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