'Fit' Harris can make Test debut against New Zealand

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Sydney, Mar 18 (ANI): Australian captain Ricky Ponting has said that fast bowler Ryan Harris could make his debut in Friday's first Test against New Zealand, if he overcomes his side strain.

South Australia seamer Peter George has been added to the squad as cover for Harris.

Ponting said he expected Queensland's Harris, 30, to train at full pace at the Basin Reserve on Thursday, but there was some concern that he would pull up sore on Friday.

Victorian quick Clint McKay, who made his Test debut in December, is also vying for a new-ball role in place of injured Peter Siddle, who has been out for several months with a back problem.

"Ryan will play if he gets through as well as we want him to today and we'll wait and see how he wakes up in the morning," he said.

"That's going to be the important thing," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.

Harris boasts of an impressive one-day international record of 29 wickets at 15.51 in 12 matches.

Ponting also said 20-year-old NSW all-rounder Steve Smith was unlikely to be promoted ahead of Test No.6 batsman Marcus North, who is struggling for form but has received the backing of his Test skipper. (ANI)

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