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Cricket: Marcus Harris belts century for Victoria in first innings since Test squad omission

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Discarded opener Marcus Harris has sent a strong message to the national selectors with a classy century on a green-tinged MCG pitch in the Sheffield Shield.

Just minutes before the first Test between India and Australia got under way in Nagpur, Harris gave a firm reminder of his ability as he brought up his second red-ball hundred of the summer against a strong Queensland attack featuring Michael Neser, Mark Steketee and Matt Kuhnemann.

The Victorian left-hander hit 12 fours and two sixes as he guided Victoria toa strong position before tea on day one of the Shield clash on Thursday.

Harris missed out on the trip to India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after he was leapfrogged in the pecking order by Matt Renshaw, who may have edged ahead due to his flexibility to bat anywhere in the Australian top six and his superior close-catching ability.

Harris was the reserve batter for all five home Tests this summer but was unable to break into the side.

He reverse swept aggressively to consecutive balls from Kuhnemann as he motored into the 90s, bringing up his three figures from a fluent 141 balls.

Harris departed shortly after when he top-edged a delivery from Kuhnemann to short fine leg but left Victoria in a strong position at 2-150, with fifth-gamer Ashley Chandrasinghe unbeaten on 41.

Will Sutherland is leading the Victorian side in the absence of Peter Handscomb, who will play for Australia in Nagpur, while Harris will take the leadership duties for Victoria’s Marsh Cup game against Queensland at the MCG on Tuesday.

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