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Thread: Harmison - underachiever or overrated ?

  1. #1
    International Debutant Salamuddin's Avatar
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    Harmison - underachiever or overrated ?

    Well, as the title says, what do you guys think of the much maligned Steve Harmison ?
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I think my thoughts are, well, fairly well-documented shall we say. Never thought Harmison was up to much, think those 7 games in early 2004 were a) nowhere near as good they were made-out and b) never something he was likely to repeat anyway.

    I think people have clung to "he's mentally soft" and the like to avoid the conclusion that they completely and totally misjudged him in 2004 (and indeed before). Harmison was never any good at all, he's only ever had odd flashes in the pan (The Oval 2004, Lord's 2005, Old Trafford 2006), most of which have involved getting lots of tailenders and\or abysmal batting.

    Harmison maybe could have been good, had he changed that awful action and looked to seam and cut the ball more. But no - people have got it into their heads that he can be effective without moving the ball sideways (Kev will insist this is possible I know) and simply by bouncing batsmen out, which, well, he simply cannot.

    People have also got it into their heads that he can offer good control over extended periods of time. Again, he cannot. There's now ample evidence of this, I think.
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    An over-rated underachiever.

    His action suggests he'd always need to put in a lot of work to get it right. It looks like he wasn't willing to. I've never bowled a ball to second slip in my life....but my action's probably better than Harmison's I'll also never bowl one at 90+ mph.
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  4. #4
    International Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Good ability to intimidate batters with his bounce. Would appear that he hasn't put in the work to become a world class frontline bowler


  5. #5
    International Debutant Salamuddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I think my thoughts are, well, fairly well-documented shall we say. Never thought Harmison was up to much, think those 7 games in early 2004 were a) nowhere near as good they were made-out and b) never something he was likely to repeat anyway.

    I think people have clung to "he's mentally soft" and the like to avoid the conclusion that they completely and totally misjudged him in 2004 (and indeed before). Harmison was never any good at all, he's only ever had odd flashes in the pan (The Oval 2004, Lord's 2005, Old Trafford 2006), most of which have involved getting lots of tailenders and\or abysmal batting.

    Harmison maybe could have been good, had he changed that awful action and looked to seam and cut the ball more. But no - people have got it into their heads that he can be effective without moving the ball sideways (Kev will insist this is possible I know) and simply by bouncing batsmen out, which, well, he simply cannot.

    People have also got it into their heads that he can offer good control over extended periods of time. Again, he cannot. There's now ample evidence of this, I think.
    Listening to Dickinson rant on about Harmy....priceless.

    Especially when you consider Harmison was the hero of both Pickup and Robbins.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    He has (or had) the tools to succeed at test level IMHO, the ability to propel the ball from his height at 90mph+ is not be be underestimated, but was also blessed with a heart the size of a pea. It's been widely reported that he gets a little mopey when he ventures south of South Shields, but he also seemingly lacks the discipline to work on his accuracy.

    Let's be honest here, he's 30 (or very nearly) now, so it's a little rich to continue to pick him based on what he might do in some illusory future. Get Broad in for the 2nd test & cut our losses.

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    I saw a summary of his yearly record and noticed only in one year did he average under 30 , in 2004 against the windies when he cleaned them up. From memory hes plus 30 for the rest of his career.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    He has (or had) the tools to succeed at test level IMHO, the ability to propel the ball from his height at 90mph+ is not be be underestimated, but was also blessed with a heart the size of a pea. It's been widely reported that he gets a little mopey when he ventures south of South Shields, but he also seemingly lacks the discipline to work on his accuracy.
    Or perhaps he simply lacks the ability, regardless of the amount of work he might have put in? Which, let's face it, none of us really know what that amounts to.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrow View Post
    I saw a summary of his yearly record and noticed only in one year did he average under 30 , in 2004 against the windies when he cleaned them up. From memory hes plus 30 for the rest of his career.
    Nothing, for mine, sums Harmison up better than this - his career (against Test-standard teams) with those 2 series in early 2004 knocked-out. Absolutely and totally awful.
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  10. #10
    International Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Or perhaps he simply lacks the ability, regardless of the amount of work he might have put in? Which, let's face it, none of us really know what that amounts to.
    Well before bowling the first ball of the 07 Ashes to second slip he didn't play in a tour game. Even including a game Botham refered to as "kicks and giggles" in a 14 a side game v NSW where he could have rolled 5 overs down and then gone home. Did seem like poor preperation, but hey we can't conclude he didn't work hard in the nets

  11. #11
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    The tour-game schedules since 2000\01 have been abysmal, no disputing that from me whatsoever. But I don't believe more tour-games would have made any difference to Harmison's overseas performances.
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  12. #12
    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    I don't think it matters which he is - he should not have played for England in Test cricket again after the 06/06 Ashes. You can argue that maybe he should have been dropped earlier - but definitely afetr thats eries he shouldn't have played again.

    What will happen is he will take a few eickets at some point, and everyone will say GBH is back - nah. I did it myself when we beat Pakistan at Old Trafford. Whetehr he has the talent or not, I doubt anyone will ever really know, but he obviously wasn't up to trying to be the world's best. GAGF harmison.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    I've said it once, and I'll say it again, Harmison is an underachiever. He may not look great, the McGrath or Donald you'd love to have, but he does his bulldozing job quite well. While he's not quite as capable as a certain Indian seamer similar to him in more ways than one, he's definitely had it a lot easier, playing for England, staying relatively injury-free and supported well by his bowlers, but this perceived homesickness, as well as his tendency to run out of gas a little too soon (bowling slower than that Indian) has weakened him a little. I'd say he's underachieved, especially when he's quit ODI's, leaving the lane open for some rather dire options- he's still better than Anderson, Tremlett and especially Mahmood.
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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    tbh I think its a case of both, the guy is both overated and has underachieved, there is no way he is the world class dangerous paceman that so many claimed he was, but yet despite this I feel he still should have performed better than he has done.

    To be Frank his control is dreadful, and imo it always has been, his action is similarly bad. The fact that he has now lost a great deal of his pace makes the entire situation even worse, as now his greatest asset seems to have vanished. Its a shame as I think he has it in him to be a decent enough option for england for a while yet, and is a handy enough bowler when he's on the money, but one feels that if he doesnt turn his performances around quickly his time may well be up.

  15. #15
    International Coach pup11's Avatar
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    For me Harmision is just not good enough to play international cricket, he is just not mentally tough enough to keep going at the highest level, he feels home-sick when he is on a tour and he gets frustrated pretty soon and starts showing negative body-language when things don't go his way, he has technical issues with his action and all but those are things that can be worked on but when a cricketer is not mentally strong to survive the hardships of being a professional international cricketer, then even heaps of talent won't help him, in Harmision's case he was never as good as he was made out to be, in some given conditions he is capable of bowling a hostile spell but that's it, he just lacks the consistency or accuracy to trouble batsmen at the top level, so he is (or should i say was, because i don't think many people rate him too highly nowadays) just highly overrated in my book.

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