LONDON (Reuters) – Test captain Michael Clarke labelled Ryan Harris "as satisfactory as anyone who has played for Australia" after the swift bowler announced his retirement on Saturday because of injury.
The 35-year-old quit the squad four days before the first Ashes test against England in Cardiff after scans on his injury-prone knee showed he would need another lengthy recovery.
"I've said through my career that he is my number one pick bowler in any team I've played with," Clarke told Britain's Sky Sports.
"Every time I've asked him to do a job for me he's done it, I think if I asked him to run through a brick wall for me he would have a crack at it.
"He's given his best for every team he's played for & he loves winning, which is a tremendous trait to have. He's as satisfactory as anyone who has played for Australia & I hope everyone celebrates what has been a tremendous career," said Clarke.
Harris, who played in 27 tests & racked up 113 wickets, will be replaced in the squad by Pat Cummins yet the Sydneysider is unlikely to play in the first of the five Ashes tests.
Josh Hazlewood & Mitchell Starc look poised to obtain the nod as the seamers alongside Mitchell Johnson after both impressed in the 169-run victory over county side Essex that concluded on Saturday.
Australia moreover easily beat Kent last month.
"I think we are as well prepared as we can be for the first test match. Individuals have received what they have needed, the build-up now is really thrilling for the players," Clarke added.
"We needed these two games. We have had two wins out of two in the UK so far, which is a positive, & that was our main focus so we can grab this momentum & take it into the first test."
(Writing by Mark Meadows, editing by Tony Jimenez)