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Ashes 2013-14: Ryan Harris pleased with position but taking nothing for granted

Ryan Harris traps Alastair Cook leg before with the second ball of day two

Ryan Harris insists Australia are not taking a 5-0 series whitewash of England for granted, but admitted the hosts were delighted with their position at the close of day two in Sydney.

The burly seamer played a leading role in bundling England out for just 155 in their first innings at the SCG, removing Alastair Cook with his second ball of the day on his way to impressive figures of 3-36.

Having secured a commanding first innings lead of 171, the hosts then reached 140-4 by stumps to move over 300 runs ahead of their beleaguered opponents on a pitch that is offering more and more variable bounce as the contest progresses.

With England having passed 300 just twice in nine attempts in the series to date, things look particularly bleak for Alastair Cook and his men and a 5-0 scoreline now appears a virtual certainty.

Harris would not allow himself to look too far ahead after another one-sided day, but acknowledged the Australians felt they have manoeuvred themselves into a position of real strength.

Good position

"Day two, 300-plus lead - it's a pretty good position to be in," he commented.

"I don't think the wicket is getting any easier... if we bowl like we did today we'll go all right.

"(Brad) Haddin said that - although he made it look pretty easy [batting in the first innings] - when the ball is fuller, he felt it had his name on and he could have nicked it at any time.

"Shane Watson said big cracks are opening up under the grass... what you want to hear when you've got 300 on the board!"

But the 34-year-old did offer a note of caution, adding: "It's obviously not a done thing yet... we figure they're going to fire at some stage."