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Old 21st May 2007, 16:51   #1
Silly Deep Cover
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Harmison must go (to Sri Lanka?)

My text for today is simple: drop Harmison straight away.

We (that is, the selectors) have been indulgent too long. Yes, he can produce match-winning performances. I can think of three (being generous) in a Test career that has just exceeded fifty matches.

He has zero confidence and scattergun results when:
  • Flintoff is not playing
  • he is more than fifty miles away from Ashington
  • he has to lead the attack
  • he has to bowl at Lord's (because of the slope)
  • his spell hasn't started well
  • there's an R in the month
  • there isn't an R in the month

His public pronouncements on his performance have ranged from wounded pride to excuses, always with a promise to do better in future. These have tended to be echoed by the ECB.

The fact is, he can't hack it, and he's trading on the reputation of a few world-class innings. This man used to be the world's number one fast bowler, but you wouldn't want him in your club side right now.

He's long held down his place, in the eyes of this board, because there's no one better to replace him with. I say, let's turn the question round. Is any one of the alternatives likely to put in a consistently worse performance? Sajid? Anderson? Broad? I say no. Let's bring one of those others in now.

Come in, Harmison, your time's up.
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Old 21st May 2007, 16:54   #2
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I think the only hopes for Harmy are

a) Troy Cooley comes back (unlikely)
b) The ECB hire a new bowling coach who Harmy clicks with.

Under the current regime he is going nowhere and getting worse..
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Old 21st May 2007, 16:55   #3
Aidan11
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Well I still defend him despite having a stinker here. He hates Lords'. Strauss has been bowling him from the wrong end most of the time. I feel he'll get it right in the next test. He didn't get 186 test wickets (I know some will say 190 but I'm with Bill Frindall on this one) by being sh*t all the time.
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Old 21st May 2007, 16:58   #4
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Well I still defend him despite having a stinker here. He hates Lords'. Strauss has been bowling him from the wrong end most of the time. I feel he'll get it right in the next test. He didn't get 186 test wickets (I know some will say 190 but I'm with Bill Frindall on this one) by being sh*t all the time.
Yes but he's getting worse. We all know that he was brilliant for a year and that he's fired at times since but at least previously when he wasn't great, he still bowled better than this.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:04   #5
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Ok, but can you suggest a 90mph bowler who can do any better. Remember without Jones & Flintoff, the remaining bowlers, Mahmood apart, aren't well endowed with electric pace.

And bear in mind that poster after poster will scream that England need a balanced attack, so do you really want to go in with three middle pace trundlers?

I'd prefer to make minimum changes to the England team for the West Indies series, and see re-evaluate at the end.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jock McTuffnell2 View Post
I think the only hopes for Harmy are

a) Troy Cooley comes back (unlikely)
b) The ECB hire a new bowling coach who Harmy clicks with.

Under the current regime he is going nowhere and getting worse..
Someone in the media centre has suggested they appoint his uncle as bowling coach because at least then he'll feel comfortable with the guy!

However I am never one for jerking my knee - although I have to admit this Harmison question has now been around for quite a long time.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:06   #7
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Also bear in mind that Harmison has had to carry the attack here as there is no Flintoff and virtually no Hoggard. Only Plunkett & Monty to help him.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:09   #8
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And bear in mind that poster after poster will scream that England need a balanced attack, so do you really want to go in with three middle pace trundlers?

Are I see, we can justify Harmisonís position by virtue of his ability to bowl 90mph, regardless of the fact he sprays the ball all over the place.

Balance? Surely off-balance is a more apt description.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:09   #9
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Hasn't Monty been carrying the attack?
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:13   #10
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Ok, but can you suggest a 90mph bowler who can do any better. Remember without Jones & Flintoff, the remaining bowlers, Mahmood apart, aren't well endowed with electric pace.

And bear in mind that poster after poster will scream that England need a balanced attack, so do you really want to go in with three middle pace trundlers?

I'd prefer to make minimum changes to the England team for the West Indies series, and see re-evaluate at the end.
Yep, sorry, forgot that we had to balance Plunkett's wides out with some slightly faster wides from Harmison. Let's never drop him.

Bowling at 90 mph is just no good if the ball is never on line. He's not scaring anyone other than second slip with his pace at the moment.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:14   #11
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Are I see, we can justify Harmisonís position by virtue of his ability to bowl 90mph, regardless of the fact he sprays the ball all over the place.

Balance? Surely off-balance is a more apt description.
As I said, for which bowler would you replace Harmison?

Anderson will come in for Hoggard, so you will have two very similar bowlers in Anderson and Plunkett, do you really want a third?
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:15   #12
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I would re-iterate the views I outlined in my previous post - given the current injury crisis there is no way that Harmison won't play in the next test match. Until some or all of the five bowlers (Jones, Hoggard, Flintoff, Broad and Lewis) who are currently injured come back then we must persevere with him. Admittedly my preferred option would have been not to play him at all this series but clearly this won't be possible.

BTW it is a bit of a myth that he bowled brilliantly under Cooley. Apart from test matches 10-20 he consistently takes his wickets at 35. Cooley, Vaughan, Hussain, Shine and Fletcher have all tried, but it seems that no-one has what it takes to get Harmison to fulfil his potential, least of all Harmison himself.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:19   #13
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As I said, for which bowler would you replace Harmison?

Anderson will come in for Hoggard, so you will have two very similar bowlers in Anderson and Plunkett, do you really want a third?
I would much rather have three bowlers of a similar nature then someone who is expensive and rarely poses a threat to the wicket column of the score sheet.

Or perhaps you feel one game every 2 or 3 series is adequate?
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:23   #14
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I would much rather have three bowlers of a similar nature then someone who is expensive and rarely poses a threat to the wicket column of the score sheet.

Or perhaps you feel one game every 2 or 3 series is adequate?
If you are able to produce an alternative that's fine, but Flintoff, Harmison, Hoggard, Anderson & Jones are the only decent bowlers available to England and three of them are injured. A three man pace line up of Anderson, Plunkett and Mahmood would be horrible.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:31   #15
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I say we bring in Rashid and let rip with SPIN!!!

Seriously, the West Indies can't play it for toffee.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:32   #16
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Hoggard, Rashid, Panesar and Flintoff. Awesome bowling attack...
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:33   #17
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I think there is some merit in IGHOL's suggestion. It may be a touch soon, but the Windies can't play spin and we are in dire straits with the injuries to our fast bowlers.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:33   #18
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I say we bring in Rashid and let rip with SPIN!!!

Seriously, the West Indies can't play it for toffee.
The thing that upsets me the most about this post is that it's not nearly as lunatic a notion as it ought to be. I wouldn't entertain the notion for more than a few seconds but it could be the best thing to do even so.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:48   #19
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Chris Gayle would maul Rashid. He was hammered around the ground yesterday by Hodge who is a world class batsman. Leave him with Yorkshire and allow him to develop.

As for Plunkett and Anderson I wouldn't say there were the same type of bowlers. Plunkett is more of a pitch it up bowler who has learnt how to bowl outswing. Anderson bowls a touch faster and is a true swiing bowler who can bowl inswing.
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Old 21st May 2007, 17:53   #20
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I'm not normally one for short-term selections but, given the paucity of our fast bowling stocks due to injury, I would be happy to bring in a county line and lengther for Headingley.

Do we have anyone who could do a Bicknell style horses for course job for us?
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