View Poll Results: Steve Harmison for the first Test?

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  • Yes, in for Onions

    10 19.23%
  • Yes, in for Broad

    12 23.08%
  • No

    24 46.15%
  • Undecided

    6 11.54%
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Thread: Steve Harmison

  1. #61
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Fair enough then - you view being Test-class as a little different to how I do. Simple difference of opinion never hurt no-one.
    Quite. Actually I'm not even sure that I agree with myself in saying the following
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    But even if he was, it wouldn't necessarily mean that he wasn't Test class.
    It's worth it for a bit of good-natured bickering, though.

  2. #62
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    I said I didn't want to get sucked into this, but what the hell.

    As for the tailenders point, you can do this to any bowler's stats because all bowlers' stats are improved by tailend wickets. Harmison has shaken and dismissed his fair share of top-order batsmen.
    My bet - and yes, I may be mistaken - is that Harmison has profited from gimme wickets (be they tail-end or immediate pre-declaration) to a greater extent than most bowlers - even Monty Panesar, and that really is saying something. I could even give you a blow-by-blow account, if you really so desired.
    As for deleting his best figures from the equation, you're getting dangerously into the slightly Stalinist territory of historical purification.

    If you delete Murali's 500 best overs, and you remove his tailend wickets and his wickets against minnows, he'd probably have an average like Ian Salisbury's.
    If it's merely a case of cherry-picking the best and deleting it, that's one thing. Removing less than 15% (which is what Harmison's 7 Tests in early-2004 represent), all of which came in direct chronological order and fitted a drastically different pattern to the entire rest, is in my view fair enough.
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  3. #63
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    The trouble is, well as I see it anyway, is that looking at the whole series objectively, on a man to man comparison we're not quite as good as the crims so if we play it with a straight bat (pun intended) then we'll get beaten - Harmison at the top of his game might change that
    No, i don't agree. Australia might be better than England, but you should still be playing the percentages. Is Harmison more likely to take wickets than Onions or Sidebottom? I don't believe so.

    I think you've also been drawn into the myth that Harmison will win matches if he's at his best. One five wicket haul in thirteen matches against Australia doesn't suggest that. It's a brave call, but I'm going to say that Onions/Sidebottom at their best>Harmison at his best.
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

  4. #64
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Australian underperformance (the like of which we had with Gillespie and - post-injury - McGrath in 2005) is in my view rather more likely than Harmison over-performance.
    'twould be nice I agree but I increasingly believe it's unlikely - the lack of their "galacticos" is made up for by a bunch of decent players - I can't see them falling apart


  5. #65
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Sidebottom at his best would be beyond awesome, he's almost as bad as Harmy from going from hero to zero though
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  6. #66
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    'twould be nice I agree but I increasingly believe it's unlikely - the lack of their "galacticos" is made up for by a bunch of decent players - I can't see them falling apart
    It's unlikely for sure - but it was damn unlikely in 2005, but it still happened.

    Of course, the likes of Flintoff and Jones (even, in the last two, Hoggard) also bowled better than anyone could have dreamt of and sorted-out Hayden, Martyn, Clarke and Gilchrist (and reduced Ponting to merely good) in a way I doubt anyone could possibly have fantasised about (except maybe simmy or GIMH if he'd been here then).

    That too seems extremely unlikely to be repeated.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Sidebottom at his best would be beyond awesome, he's almost as bad as Harmy from going from hero to zero though
    Sidebottom's mean streak was a year ago though, Harmison's was in 2004.

  8. #68
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    My bet - and yes, I may be mistaken - is that Harmison has profited from gimme wickets (be they tail-end or immediate pre-declaration) to a greater extent than most bowlers - even Monty Panesar, and that really is saying something. I could even give you a blow-by-blow account, if you really so desired.

    If it's merely a case of cherry-picking the best and deleting it, that's one thing. Removing less than 15% (which is what Harmison's 7 Tests in early-2004 represent), all of which came in direct chronological order and fitted a drastically different pattern to the entire rest, is in my view fair enough.
    But even on that basis, you need to be aware that an average that prunes out the peak of a player's career is not an average that means what it appears to mean. If you see what I mean.

    About a year ago we had precisely the same argument and I showed you that by excising a 7-test chronological period from Dominic Cork's career you could do similar damage to his career stats. (Or something along those lines). And I know that you don't regard him as a flash in the pan.
    Last edited by zaremba; 03-07-2009 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #69
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    But even on that basis, you need to be aware that an average that prunes out the peak of a player's career is not an average that means what it appears to mean. If you see what I mean.
    If you take out a very small amount of outstanding and are left with a very large amount of dreadful, in my view you get the perfect picture.

    Or, rather, instead of "taking out", you just separate the two. The first 7 Tests of 2004; and the other 48.
    About a year ago we had precisely the same argument and I showed you that by excising a 7-test chronological period from Dominic Cork's career you could do similar damage to his career stats. (Or something along those lines). And I know that you don't regard him as a flash in the pan.
    I regard Cork as someone who had his chances of being successful long-term damaged by some of his own shortcomings and a lot of those of others. That he was mostly pretty poor after the 1995, 1995/96 and (to an extent) 1996 seasons is not something I've ever disputed.

  10. #70
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    If you take out a very small amount of outstanding and are left with a very large amount of dreadful, in my view you get the perfect picture.
    The point I was making is that the "picture" is an average: a number. And that sort of number doesn't necessarily mean what it appears to mean. It can only be properly understood in its proper context, which is that it's the result of an extremely careful exercise in sample-selection. And saying that someone averages (say) 48 after that process is fairly meaningless in itself unless you can compare it with similarly-selected figures for other bowlers.

  11. #71
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    The other point about Harmison (when he's bowling decently), and I don't expect you to agree with this Richard but I regard it as pretty important, is that batsmen don't like facing him. He unsettles them. This helps to build up pressure on the batting line-up. Even when he wasn't taking wickets, he was a factor in the success of the England team in 2005. It's intangible in that it isn't necessarily obvious from his bowling figures, but anecdotal evidence from people who have actually been involved in both teams is pretty powerful.

  12. #72
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Sidebottom at his best would be beyond awesome, he's almost as bad as Harmy from going from hero to zero though
    Thats not true. Sidebottom's dip in form since NZ last year was down to injury & he lost pace. He has never had SA 04/05 type series like Harmo.

  13. #73
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    No, but you see my point surely, i.e that he went from being beyond awesome, to a passenger

  14. #74
    Hall of Fame Member Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The other point about Harmison (when he's bowling decently), and I don't expect you to agree with this Richard but I regard it as pretty important, is that batsmen don't like facing him. He unsettles them. This helps to build up pressure on the batting line-up. Even when he wasn't taking wickets, he was a factor in the success of the England team in 2005. It's intangible in that it isn't necessarily obvious from his bowling figures, but anecdotal evidence from people who have actually been involved in both teams is pretty powerful.
    Most of which was done successfully by Flintoff and Jones in 05.

  15. #75
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Most of which was done successfully by Flintoff and Jones in 05.
    All 4 of them - they were a great pack of fast bowlers operating as a unit.

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