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.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.
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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.
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.
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.
Or, rather, instead of "taking out", you just separate the two. The first 7 Tests of 2004; and the other 48.
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.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.
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.
No, but you see my point surely, i.e that he went from being beyond awesome, to a passenger
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