Saturday, June 09, 2007

Complete Control

A lot has been written over the past 24 hours about the abject bowling performance turned in by Steve Harmison, and to a lesser extent Ker-Plunk at Old Trafford on Friday.

One angle that hasn't been picked up on is the captaincy of Michael Vaughan. 'll bet a lot of money that the presence of Vaughan at mid off when Harmison is bowling is not helping the bowler one little bit.

He might mean well, but the little conversations he seems to be having about three times an over are ikely doing more harm than good.

I've been in exactly the same position as Harmison myself - albeit at a much lower level in the cricketing foodchain. Your brain seizes up and everything you've done previously and taken for granted in terms of running up and delivering the ball becomes problematic when it should be automatic. You end up thinking too much, and try to 'place' the ball rather than just bowling it. All you want to do is just go back and bowl. Simplistic comments like 'keep it up there' and 'relax' offer no help whatsover. You just get to the position where you're tempted to sarcastically respond "Really skipper? I hadn't thought of that." Even the well intentioned 'well bowled' when you manage to put one in roughly the right place just sound contrived and gratuitous to you.

I'd also suggest that what has added to the turmoil in Harmison's head is al the talk about his eleven wicket haul at Old Trafford last year - and the fact that 'this wicket is made for him'.

Harmison is in the position now where he just needs to empty his mind, run up and bowl fast - and bugger the consequences.

Let Allan Donald try and sort out the mechanics of wrist and body position - but do it after this test has finished. Tell Harmison now that he's not going to be playing in the next test, but instead is going back to county cricket to bowl - and bowl and bowl and bowl until he gets back into the groove.

Luckily, the lack of a challenge from this West Indies team means that they are getting away with having two bowlers in their attack who are currently performing at less than test class and couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo - even if the cow was tied down.

England won't have that luxury when the India series starts.

1 comment:

Innocent Abroad said...

Well, Harmy is in the team for the 4th Test, and probably rightly - unless Sir Viv was engaging in an elaborate double-bluff on TMS... Plunkett, on the other hand, may be waiting a very long time for his next cap...