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Without for a moment querying Goughy's analysis of Harmison's action, which I thought was brilliant (Goughy, not GBH's action, that is), my problem here is that this isn't something that's crept into his game over the last 6 months, and I don't know how easy it is to change something that's been second nature for a decade or so. The bigger worry is how something so ropey can go unchecked until a player reaches the test side, but we've seen that before, of course.
Interesting statistic from Agnew's blog (shame about the rest) regarding Harmison and the faux sense of match winning credibility he exudes…
Tests 1 to 10: 28 wickets at an average of 36
Tests 11 to 20: 59 wickets at 19
Tests 21 to 30: 34 wickets at 35
Tests 31 to 40: 34 wickets at 32
Tests 41 to 50: 34 wickets at 37
Last edited by TT Boy; 22-05-2007 at 02:51 AM.
Better to look at:
Phase 1 (2002-2003) - India, Aus & SA
Phase 2 (2004 golden patch) - WI, NZ & WI
Phase 3 (the rest) - SA, Aus, Pak, India, Pak, Aus & WI
IIRC his phase 3 average is about 41, which really isn't clever over six and a bit series.
I've seen nothing to alter my perception that the one time in his life when he got his finger out was after for once getting the message that he wasn't actually doing "enough", which is generallty what he trots out. That involved not getting a central contract at the end of the 2003 SA series and some very unsubtle messages from the England camp after he returned early from Bang a couple of months later. Either side of that, he's spent his entire professional career having his ego massaged first by county then by country instead of being challenged to sort his game out and do what he's capable of instead of getting by on mediocrity. The result is what we've seen over the last two and a half years.
I believe a simpler thing happened, a much simpler one. He bowled a bit - and only a bit - better in those first 7 Tests in 2004 than normal, received the benefit of some ridiculously poor batting (only at Sabina Park, for instance, did he ever take any wickets in his first spell) and hasn't done on any other occasions.
IMO he could work as hard as anyone wants, and those 7 Tests will never be repeated.
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