Posted by: nestaquin | August 9, 2008

Harmy Come Back

With beanie on head and a Swedish breakfast in his belly, our globetrotting fugitive, The Tooting Trumpet, runs the rule over Steve Harmison’s return to Test cricket, illustrates the wisdom of hard yakka and reminds all of the illusion, power and virtue of Panglossian surfing and soiled nappies.

Harmy Makes England Less Barmy

After 58 Test matches and 214 wickets, one would think that England’s phalanx of managers, coaches, and assorted hangers-on would know how best to handle Stephen Harmison. And, would you believe it, at last it appears they might.

The evidence? England ignored their fastest bowler (these days possibly the fastest bowler in world cricket ex Brett Lee) until the seventh and final Test of the English summer. No doubt there was an element of the naughty boy being sent to the corner after Harmy’s less than enthusiastic approach to last winter’s touring, but there was more to it than that.

For years, observers, including this one, were convinced that Harmy needs lots of hard work to avoid starting series undercooked and, in consequence, tumbling into the spiral of poor form leading to poor confidence, leading to poorer form and… well, you get the picture. The forebearance of the selectors allowed Harmison to deliver over 450 overs in county cricket’s 2008 season grooving his action. With so much to go wrong in Harmy’s delivery stride and a mind inclined to fret, such miles on the clock matter.

Almost incredible (given that we are talking about England’s cricket administrators), the lesson has been absorbed. Prior to England’s next Test, scheduled for December in Ahmedabad, England will send an advance party to India to play a month’s cricket against local opposition who, with another round of IPL auctions looming, will be keen to catch the eye. Harmison will be amongst the advance party and will bowl and bowl.

Come the Test, should Harmy shoot out Gambhir and Sehwag early on and ride the crest of confidence through 2009 (and we know that Harmy can catch a wave and ride it), England’s horribly ineffective performances against South Africa will be forgotten. An in-form pace attack of Harmison, Flintoff, Anderson and Jones will give Ricky something to ponder whilst changing the nappies.

Of course, it could go to second slip…

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Responses

  1. Harmy has made a stunning comeback and it proves that dropping blokes regardless of reputation works.
    He looks hungry and fresh and his batting was great too.

    Not sure how a month of sticky India will affect him but if the past is any indicator it could be a short stay in the top flight.

  2. The things we know: Harmy is quick and worth his place; he needs work to get grooved.

    That’s what I like about this plan. 20 overs in a practice match for Harmy then fronting up to Sehwag is a recipe for disaster. 120 overs before fronting up to Sehwag might not work, but then again it might.

    If Harmy still can’t do it after this preparation, then we’ll know that he’s not worth bothering with.

  3. “Panglossian surfing”. That’s very good. There might be a bit more before 2009!

  4. I think it is an excellent idea to send a group of players out there early. Harmison will of course be the main man to benefit from this as we all know he needs overs before competing at test level.

    The only thing I would question would be whether Harmy would want to go out their for a month BEFORE the tour has even started? Not exactly ideal for someone who gets home sick…….

  5. Thomas – I think we’ll find out how homesick Harmy is prior to it mattering. And that’s a good thing.

  6. Harmy bowled well – he was refreshed and invigoratated by his time at Durham. But his performance for KP at the Oval was a new direction. He wants to be part of the England attack. The boy did well. We have to see how that translates to future performances.

    Just as well this is not the forum to debate other performances = HOY!!


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