Ryan Harris is unsure where he sits in Australia’s pace pecking order, saying previous Ashes deeds count for nada.
Harris led Australia’s attack brilliantly in England two years ago, taking 24 wickets at 19.58 and doing everything he possibly could to reclaim the urn.
The 35-year-old’s capacity to swing the ball means he is well suited to UK conditions, while his resilience is the stuff of legend.
The nation’s most consistent bowler over the past five years skipped the West Indies tour for the birth of his first child.
Harris spent the better part of four months in the gym and was expected to return on July 8, when the Ashes start in Cardiff.
However that assumption was challenged in the Caribbean, where Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood starred.
“You never have credits. I wish you did, but you don’t,” Harris said.
“Missing a tour, which was my doing, you give someone else an opportunity.
“If I’m not in that first Test side, it means someone else is bowling better and hopefully we’re winning Test matches.
“If I sit on the side for all five Tests and we win the Ashes, that’s the way it’s got to be.”
Harris conceded Starc, Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson had all impressed him over the past month.
“They’ve performed beautifully,” he said.
“We’re probably better placed (than the 2013 Ashes), having Mitch Johnson back in.
“Mitchell Starc is bowling a lot better than he was back then.
“Going into a big series you want to be performing and that’s what everyone is doing.”
The current tour game against Kent in Canterbury is Harris’s first competitive fixture since January.
The right-armer was rusty on day two.
“I probably just tried a little bit too hard,” he said.
A chat with bowling coach Craig McDermott helped calm Harris and he looked a far better bowler on day three.
Harris was rewarded with two wickets but, just as pleasing, was how fresh he felt after sending down 16 overs.
“I don’t feel like I’ve bowled many overs at all, which I haven’t felt like in a really long time,” he said.